Child Arrangement Order – A Brief Look

We are increasingly being contacted to enquire whether we are able to help our clients to obtain frequent and clear arrangements for visitation and overnight stays with their children.

The process can be simple and is certainly effective but can also become emotionally stressful and on occasions costly.

The first advice that we give is to ensure that all mediation routes have been exhausted and to ensure that the appropriate documentation has been obtained from a mediator. This will either be a signed and stamped letter which sets out that it has been attempted and unsuccessful or it may be that under the circumstances, the matter is exempt from mediation.

The reason this is important is because if you then decide to apply to the court, a C100 form will be completed and within this application it will ask if you agree to mediation. If you are exempt from mediation it is good practice to get this confirmed before hand and request the appropriate page on the C100 to be signed by the mediator to confirm the same. We frequently draft application and file with the court on our clients’ behalf so can arrange this for you. The most important aspect for you to consider is time and delays and anything you can do to speed things up is a bonus.

There will be a fee payable when the application is filed which is around £215.00 but you may be able to get help with your fees. See below link for further detail:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50

If you note that there may be a safeguarding concern or would like for a Prohibited Steps Order to be concerned, then this will also be sought through this form. As soon as the application has been filed with the court and served on the other party, the court will process the application and then send through an order which will direct both parties to moving forward. This will include the attendance at court for a preliminary hearing and for both parties to arrange a call with CAFCASS to ascertain any possible safeguarding concerns before attendance at the court.

Throughout the whole proceedings it is imperative to ensure that you keep focused on the most important thing which is your child. Try and prepare a realistic settlement such as a yearly calendar which sets out when you consider a realistic way to share custody or even when you would be prepared to agree visitation.

Finally, the court will take into account a number of factors such as distance, age of the child or children and work life to ensure that it would be reasonable to make such an Order.

If you would like further information or wish to discuss your matter specifically please contact our office or email through any documentation you have received by email to info@lawdit.co.uk.

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