When a relationship ends making arrangements for who your child lives with and when they see their other parent and often extended family members such as grandparents can be a very difficult task. Our experienced team is on hand to assist you in deciding what is best for your children and trying to agree matters without having to resort to Court proceedings. These issues have had many different names through the years “custody”, “Residence” and “Contact” are the terms most people are aware of but now they are referred to as Child Arrangements.
When matters cannot be agreed by negotiation, collaborative law or mediation you or your ex- partner can apply for a Child Arrangement Order which is when the Court decide what arrangements should be put in place. We can also assist you when matters become more urgent and in certain circumstances it may be necessary to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order or Specific Issue order and ask the court to list a hearing as a matter of urgency.
Child Arrangement Order Procedure
- C100 Application issued at Court;
- Cafcass (court welfare officers) carry out safeguarding interviews over telephone with both parties to do statutory checks and will generally issue a safeguarding letter report prior to the first hearing;
- First directions appointment (sometimes Cafcass or Social Services are ordered to prepare a report for the court (known as section 7 or section 37 reports);
- Further direction appointments/ dispute resolution appointment; and then
- Final hearing.
Agreement can be reached at any stage to bring an end to the proceedings.
Public Law children (where social services are involved)
Many families find themselves in a situation where Social Services are involved and are considering court proceedings (known as care proceedings). Our vastly experienced team can assist you from when social services tell you they are considering proceedings (known as the PLO process) to when they issue proceedings.
If you require help and advice and would like to discuss further how Hunt & Coombs can help you with a child arrangement order, care proceedings or any other area of family law; contact our Family Law Team by:
Email or call 01733 882800.