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Hi, I’m Lea and I will be assisting you with your query today.
You can find a mediator here: www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk - you can search by postcode.
If you wish to apply for fee remission, you can do so on form EX160 - and there are accompanying notes called EX160A, both of which I will link to in a moment. You can also apply for fee remission online, which is a much easier method as you complete everything online and then the system gives you the code to put onto your C100 form.
The following is useful info to assist you with the site:
EX160 form: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/952045/ex160-eng.pdf
E160A Notes: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/958038/ex160a-eng.pdf
It's not defamation, so don't waste your time with that. If the child has said you hit her, then the mother can relay that information to you even if it turns out not to be true.
If you have not managed to get an agreement in place via mediation, then court is unfortunately your last option. Now that your C100 has been signed by the mediator you can go ahead and apply to court. You don't really need a solicitor at this stage, so simply send the form in.
If you need fee remission and meet the criteria then you can complete EX160 at the same time as you send the C100 to court.
You're very welcome.