At the time of writing this article, in order to make a private law Children Act application, the three primary forms which you will need to give consideration to using for your court application are known as the C100, C2 and C1A.
The C100 form is the primary Court application form for commencing new Section 8 proceedings.
The form is relatively straightforward to complete with a series of boxes to be filled in and information provided to the Court. Not surprisingly, it includes the relevant information in terms of names, addresses, email etc. not only of you but also of the other party and any other relevant persons.
The form requests at the commencement that you identify what applications you are bringing before the Court, and there is a section for you to give a brief explanation as to why such an application is being brought.
The Court is not expecting a full and detailed statement at this stage, more a general indication of what is being applied for.
The C100 also incorporates and includes sections which either are relevant or not to include for example whether there is any domestic abuse that has taken place which you, as the applicant, wish to draw to the Court’s attention and whether or not there is justification to having avoided mediation prior to the instigation of the application, and whether the application is being brought on an emergency basis (see later).
The C1A is the form which is to be completed in the event that there is a contention that there has been domestic abuse which is of relevance to the outcome of the children arrangements. The C1A again is a series of pages with appropriate completion boxes and identifies the relevant information which should be inserted therein.
It is imperative that IF allegations of domestic abuse are being raised with your application, that the C1A should be completed and completed properly and appropriately as best you can.
It is not unusual as the case progresses, that if certainly lawyers become involved, that differentials between what is completed in the C1A and what is subsequently contended later, (or indeed if no C1A were filed why not) can be difficult to deal with later in the process.
The C2 form is a form which is either used at the commencement of proceedings or to make applications within the existing proceedings.
Its primary use at the commencement of a set of proceedings is in circumstances where the applicant to the Court does not have an automatic right of application (a natural parent or holder of parental responsibility) and needs the Court’s permission to pursue said application.
In general terms the C2 should be remitted along with the C100 because if the Court makes a determination upon its receipt that the permission should be granted it will then proceed to issue the C100 form.
If particularly stand alone applications are being made for parental responsibility, permission to change child’s surname, removal of a child from the UK, Special Guardianship order, to appointment or remove a child’s guardian the form C1 is used along with a FM1. Enforcement of existing orders require the use of a form C79.
Help and assistance with completing the forms
I acknowledge that the completion and preparation of these forms can be difficult and time consuming and therefore you may wish to seek legal advice prior to completing the forms, before determining what applications you actually wish to place before the Court, which forms need to be placed before the Court and how to complete the same.
There are two other aspects to the forms which need to be provided to the Court. As per previous article, in general terms unless there are allegations of domestic abuse or the case is an emergency application, then the Court will have expected mediation to have been undertaken. There is a page within the C100 form which can be completed by the mediator known as a “MIAM”, Mediation Information Assessment Meeting form which the mediator can sign. Alternatively, a separate copy of that page can be secured and attached to the C100.
Exemption of fee form
The final form which may need to be given consideration to is an exemption of fee form.
There is a fee to be paid to the Court for issuing a Children Act application. The exemption of fee form however can be completed and remitted at the same time. This can be done in circumstances where you believe your financial position might mean that you would be eligible to either be exempt from all or part of the Court fee. The form identifies the specific information and documentation which must be remitted.
Once received, the Court staff will undertake an assessment to establish whether there is a full or partial exemption. If not, or if the exemption is only partial, they will then require the payment or the appropriate share thereof before the application is issued. Consequently, you may wish to give consideration to whether you would wish to lodge such form as the requirement for the Court to undertake the assessment and to determine whether a fee is payable can add to the length of time before the Court actually issues the application itself.
If you have asked any questions relating to which forms need to be completed and lodged with a Court for a Children Act application and would now like more information on the different types of proceedings relating to children, please get in touch with our Family team, 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 about the rules around parental responsibility, contact, holidays and arrangements for separated parents, please click here for the full series.