Recently the clinic has seen a number of clients who have a problem in relation to family disputes but ‘What are my legal rights in regard to seeing my child/grandchild?’
In a situation where you are prevented from having access to a child, the first step we always suggest is to try and agree to the child arrangements privately or with the assistance of a mediator. However if it is not possible to agree to the child’s arrangements informally, a child arrangements order is usually necessary.
In this post we will explain what a child arrangements order is and how you can go about having access to your child. We have also included some useful resources, which will be helpful when applying for a court order such as direct links to the forms that will need to be completed.
What is a child arrangements order?
A child arrangements order puts in place arrangements in regard to:
- Who a child should live with until the age of 18.
- Who, when and how a child is to spend time with or have contact with until the age of 16(or 18 in special circumstances).
There are a number of different ‘contact’ arrangements the court may impose including:
- Face to face contact
- Telephone and video calls
- Supervised contact
- Indirect contact through letters and cards
Who can apply for a child arrangements order?
Some people are automatically entitled to apply for a child arrangements order such as a child’s mother, father and anyone with parental responsibility.
Other people such as grandparents can apply for a child arrangements order however they will generally need the permission of the court in order to do so.
How to apply for a child arrangements order?
If you are a mother, father or someone with parental responsibility you will need to complete a C100 form.
However if you need to apply for permission from the court before applying for the order then you must complete a C2 form.
You will find a link to both of these application forms below.
How much does a child arrangements order cost?
It will cost you £215 to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order, however if you are on certain benefits or a low income, you may be entitled to a fee remission to help you meet the cost. Please see the link below for more information about this.
Do I need a solicitor?
No, you do not need a solicitor, although you may wish to seek legal help and advice to guide you through the process. Advice Now have produced a very helpful booklet for people making an application to the family court without the help of a lawyer, please see the link below.
Other Helpful Sources
https://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees Help with the cost of going to court
http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-apply-court-order-about-arrangements-your-children-without-help-lawyer – useful guide on how to apply for a child arrangements order
https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/cb001-eng.pdf – This Is a guide provided by HM courts &tribunal services with details of how to make an application.
https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/c100-eng.pdf – Link to C100 form
https://formfinder.hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/c2-eng.pdf – Link to C2 Form
http://www.grandparentsplus.org.uk – Grandparents Plus is a service specifically aimed at grandparents who have lost contact with their grandchildren
We hope that you have found this information helpful. If you require more information or assistance in completing the forms do not hesitate to visit one of our student advisers who will be happy to help.