To apply a Child Arrangements Order, the law requires you to first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, often referred to as a MIAM. This is a meeting with a qualified mediator who will inform you about forms of alternative dispute resolution and ways in which to resolve your dispute out of the Court arena. The mediator will assess whether mediation is suitable.
If you do not wish to pursue mediation and want to continue with making an application to Court, the mediator will provide you with the requisite form C100.
How to apply for a Child Arrangements Order?
Before an application to Court can be made for a Child Arrangements Order, you must first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. As lawyers, we refer to this as a MIAM. Put simply, it involves a meeting with a qualified mediator who will consider whether it would be possible to resolve the issues outside of Court.
There is usually a fee of around £100.00 plus VAT for the MIAM which will be paid upfront. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government introduced the Family Mediation Voucher Scheme which provides a financial contribution of up to £500.00 towards the cost of mediation.
If the mediator considers that the case is not suitable for mediation, they will provide you with the requisite form which will need to accompany the C100 application form.
The C100 form is the form that must be completed to formally make an application to court for a Child Arrangements Order. This form can be completed online via the link below.
Click here to access the C100 form on the gov.uk website.
This is the formal application form to request a Court to make child arrangements and it is this same form you should complete if you require permission to make the application. All you are required to do is check the appropriate box on the form that asks, “Are you asking for permission to make this application, where that is required?” and subsequently complete a further section within the form giving your reasons for asking for permission.
It cannot be emphasised enough that an application to Court should always be a last resort. Court proceedings are lengthy and costly. Even if mediation is deemed unsuitable, there are other forms of dispute resolution available including Arbitration and Collaborative Law.