In the event that all endeavours to resolve matters have failed and arrangements for the children cannot be agreed between the parents then ultimately the final course of action will be to instigate a court application.
The Children Act applications can and should include notification to the court of what has been applied for.
What to include – Children Act applications
The Children Act application could include:
- An application for a Child Arrangement Order that the child should live with that specific parent.
- A Child Arrangement Order inviting the court to specify that the child/children live with the parents on a shared care arrangement.
- An application for a Child Arrangement Order to define the amount of time the child should stay with the non-residential parent.
- An application for a Specific Issue Order (that is an order to detail an individual event on a positive basis i.e. a child shall undertake a certain course of action).
- An application for a Prohibited Steps Order, that is an order to prevent an action being undertaken in relation to a child, i.e. a child shall not receive certain medical treatment.
These applications are not necessarily exclusive. i.e. it is entirely appropriate and possible to make an application inviting the court to consider that a child should be placed with one particular parent, if not that the arrangement should be a shared care arrangement, and if not that a defined staying arrangement should be put into place.
In addition, along with the application detailing with whom a child visits, stays, etc, applications can be made at the same time to be considered by the court relating to specific issue or prohibited steps.
When completing the application and submitting it to the court it is extremely helpful if careful thought has been given to what kind of orders are being sought and also to identify what you would like the ultimate outcome to look like. i.e. if you are applying for a Child Arrangement Order to have the child to have contact with you to set out what it is you actually would like the court to order in terms of how often and where you would like that contact to take place.
I have not included in this particular article anything in regards to applications being made for enforcement of court orders which are already in existence as I will deal with this as a separate and independent topic much later within this series of articles.
As you will discover reading through the subsequent articles lawyers are not particularly imaginative.
The above applications are frequently known as ‘Section 8’ applications as it is Section 8 of the Children Act which identifies these as being applications that can be brought on behalf of parents in private law proceedings.
Stand-alone applications can be made or included within the above for:-
- Parental responsibility
- Permission to change a child’s surname
- Remove a child from the UK
- Special Guardianship order
- Appoint or terminate a child’s guardian
I set these out separately however, as they are not known as a “Section 8 application” and the court’s considerations and determinations in relation to such an application is slightly different to what is applied to a Section 8 application.
If you have any questions relating to what can be applied for through a family court and would now like more information on the different types of proceedings relating to children, please get in touch with our Children team and we would be happy to assist you.
This article is part of a series on Private Family Law and Children Law proceedings. If you would like to learn more, please click here for the full series.