How do I know which Court application forms to use?
This all depends on the type of order you are seeking.
If you are applying for a Child Arrangements Order, Specific Issue Order, Prohibited Steps Order or if you are wanting to vary an existing order, then you will need to complete application form C100. In addition to the personal details of yourself, your opponent (who will be known as the Respondent) and the children the form also asks for further information with regards to the history, such as whether there has ever been any involvement by Social Services, or whether there have been previous proceedings. The form also allows you to set out the reasons why the application is being made. Although a lengthy explanation will not be required it is important to raise any worries or concerns now as questions will be asked if the concerns are raised at a later date as there is a risk you will be accused of making up allegations in order to delay the proceedings.
If you are alleging that either you or the child(ren) have experienced or are at risk of experiencing harm from:- domestic abuse; child abuse; child abduction; drugs, alcohol or substance abuse; or there are other safety or welfare concerns, then you must also complete form C1A – Allegations of Harm and Domestic Violence.
The form sets out what is meant by domestic violence /abuse and harm as follows:-
“domestic violence/abuse” means any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or who have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
The Children Act 1989 defines the following terms as:
“Harm” means ill treatment or damage to health and development, including, for example, damage suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another
“Development” means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development
“Health” means physical or mental health
“Ill-treatment” includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical
The form will ask you what types of domestic violence/abuse you allege that you and/or the children have experienced, whether this is physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial. A lot of the time more than one applies so each box that is relevant can be ticked.
Included on the form is a box in which you are asked to set out when the behaviour started and how long it went on for, what sort of behaviour we are looking at, if you have sought help (eg from the Police, your GP, domestic violence services, social services etc) and what did that agency or service do about it (if anything).
You will also be asked to confirm if there are any current orders for protection in place (non-molestation order, restraining order, occupation order etc), whether there is a risk of child abduction, whether you have any other concerns, and what orders you are now asking the Court to make to protect the safety of the children and/or indeed yourself.
This form is to be used for any other application for an order under the Children Act 1989 except care and supervision orders, the orders that must be made on form C100, and orders relating to enforcement of a contact order.
The common applications using this form will be:-
Applying for a Parental Responsibility order – for example, if a father is not named on the birth certificate and he is not married to the mother, then he will not hold parental responsibility and this application is normally made at the same time as an application for a Child Arrangements Order
Applying for an order appointing a child’s guardian
Applying for an order giving permission to change a child’s surname or to remove a child from the United Kingdom
Applying for a Special Guardianship Order
In addition to asking for details of yourself, the respondent and the child(ren), the form will ask for confirmation of the orders being applied for, whether there have been any other cases involving the child(ren), who cares for the child(ren), whether the child(ren) have or are at risk of suffering harm (if yes form C1A will also be needed), whether there has been any involvement by Social Services, the education and health of the child(ren). Confirmation of who the parents are, who else lives with the child or cares for the child, details of other children of the family including any brothers/sisters or half-brothers/sisters, and your reasons for applying and what you want to see happen.
This form is to be used if you are applying for any of the following :-
Permission to start proceedings. Not everyone has an automatic entitlement to make an application for an order relating to a child – grandparents are the most common example. Anyone who falls into this category must first seek the permission of the Court before their application can be considered. The C2 will be sent to Court together with the C100 and/or C1
An order in existing proceedings. An example of this would be where something unexpected has happened during the Court case and the matter needs to be referred back to Court before the next listed hearing date or an application for an additional order needs to be made. This form can be used to make that application and request an earlier hearing date
To be joined as, or cease to be, a party in existing family proceedings. Again, a grandparent or a step-parent are examples. If one of the parents has made an application but a grandparent or step-parent is heavily involved in caring for a child, then they can apply to be part of the proceedings. In some cases they will be served with Notice of Proceedings and their details included on the main application form as a person to whom notice should be given
As with the forms above, the application will ask for details of the person applying, details of the respondent and the children, if there is anyone else who should receive notice, what the application is for and the reasons for applying
Unfortunately, in some cases even though a Child Arrangements Order has been made, one of the parties will not comply with it, whether it is the parent spending time with the child or the parent who needs to make the child available for contact. In these cases the parent who is alleging that the order has not been complied with can apply to the Court for enforcement.
The C79 can also be used for the following :-
If there is an existing enforcement order with an unpaid work requirement and the order has not been complied with and you wish the Court to take action
If you have lost money because the Child Arrangements Order is not being complied with and you seek compensation for financial loss
If you wish to cancel an enforcement order
If you move address during the duration of the order and you wish to change the local justice area where you wish to complete the unpaid work and need to amend the enforcement order
To apply to reduce the amount of hours of unpaid work set down in the enforcement order
To apply to carry out any unpaid work over a longer period – the period is initially set for 12 months
As above the form asks for details of the parties and the children, current Court cases, who else should be notified etc but will also ask for specific details of what is being applied for.
Help with Fees form
All applications will require a fee being paid before the Court will issue an application :-
£215 for C100, C1 or C79 to apply for enforcement
£155 for C2 when applying within proceedings
£95 for any application relating to an existing enforcement order
If two or more applications are made together, for example a C100 and C1, or C100, C1 and C2 then only one fee of £215 is payable.
Depending on income and capital an applicant may be eligible for a partial or full fee exemption. The Help with Fees form (EX160) can be completed and submitted with the application which will enable to Court to assess means and determine whether a reduction in part or in full can be granted. If a full exemption is given then the Court will simply issue the application(s). If further information is required the Court will contact the applicant and ask them to provide documents to support what they have said on the form. More guidance can be found in the accompanying guidance booklet (EX160A).