Application for a Child Arrangement Order to live with formerly known as a Residence / Custody Order.
Application for a Child Arrangement Order to spend time with formerly known as Contact Order.
Requirement to consider mediation before application can be made.
So either Google mediation and your area or use the link below.
You then need to contact the mediation service and arrange a MIAM - Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting.
You will have a meeting either face to face or on the phone. At the end of the meeting you can either elect to mediate in which case the mediator will contact the other party to see if they are willing or you can say you wish to make an application to the court. If you choose the later the mediator will sign a page of the C100 application form to enable you to make an application to the court.
Application to the Court
You need to find your nearest Family Court. You issue at the court nearest to where the child lives.
On the link below select - area of law interested in / children - then enter postcode.
The application form is a C100 see link below.
You should then either:
- Post 3 copies to the Family Court, or
- Email a copy. If you email use the word 'Gatekeeper - C100' in the subject line.
There is a court fee of £215. If however you are on a low income you may get help with the court fee using a EX160. If you are entitled you should complete and send a copy with the C100 application form.
If you have to pay a fee provide the court in either a covering letter or within the email a contact number for them to call and take payment of the court fee.
Your application will be issued and listed for a FHDRA - First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment.
Before the hearing CAFCASS will contact you and the otherside to arrange a telephone appointment. They will call you close to the hearing to discuss the matter. They will then prepare a Safeguarding Letter for the court setting out your respective positions and suggested way forward.
If there are welfare issues they are likely to suggest a Section 7 Report which gives CAFCASS more time to investigate the concerns and make a recommendation for future contact or with whom the child should live.
If there are no welfare issues then it is likely that the role of CAFCASS will come to an end and the court will make directions to resolve your matter if an agreement cannot be reached.
If there are no welfare issues it is possible to agree at the FHDRA and a Final Order can be made.
So there are 3 possible outcomes at the first hearing:
- You agree and Final Order made.
- There are welfare issues so order made for Section 7 Report and matter listed for DRA - Dispute Resolution Appointment, or
- There are no welfare issues but you cannot agree so court order the filing of statements and list the matter for a Final Hearing for a judge to hear evidence and make a decision.
Sometimes if very serious allegations are made then rather than the above there may need to be a Fact Finding hearing to determine the allegations if they are not accepted. In which case the court will give directions to deal with the allegations