Different Types of Child Court Orders
There are several kinds of Court Orders that you can apply for. This will depend on what you and your ex-partner are struggling to agree on. You can apply for more than one Court Order at a time. These include:
- Child Arrangement Order – this specifies where the child lives, when you or your ex-partner spends time with them, and when and how they may have other contact
- Specific Issue Order – this deals with specific aspects of your child’s upbringing, such as what school they go to or if they should have a religious upbringing
- Prohibited Steps Order – this is used to stop the other parent from making decisions about your child’s upbringing
- Parental Responsibility Order – this is used to specify the rights, duties and responsibilities of a parent. It can be used by a father who never married the mother and the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate.
How to Apply for a Court Order
Step one is to download and fill in a C100 form. In this form you will need to include:
- Your address and your ex-partners address
- Details of who else lives with your child, for example the child’s grandmother or your new partner
- If Social Services are involved in your child’s life
- Written evidence that you have tried mediation
HM Government provide guidance on how to fill in C100 forms, and you can get advice from a Family and Child Law Solicitor to help you with this.
You will then need to send the original C100 form plus three copies to the Court to approve.
How Much Does it Cost?
It costs £215 to apply for a Court Order, not including any legal assistance you may need.
What Happens after Applying for a Court Order?
After the Court receive your application, they will check over your forms and respond with a date for the first appointment dealing with your case. The Court will usually respond around five weeks after they receive your forms.
You will also be spoken to by a CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) officer. Their role is to carry out safeguarding and background checks against you and your ex-partner, listen to what you have to say, and recommend a way forward for the Court at the first hearing.
This meeting at the Court is known as a Directions Hearing and will be with both parents. During this hearing the Court will work out what you can and cannot agree on and if your child is at risk in any way.
The Court always prioritises the best interest of the child. There are certain things that the Court take into consideration to ensure the best outcome for the child. These include:
- The child’s wishes and feelings
- How the changes may affect the child
- The child’s age, gender, characteristics and background
- Any possible risk of harm to the child
- The child’s physical and emotional needs
- The educational needs of the child
- Ability of the parents to meet the child’s needs