To apply for a child arrangement order, you will need to complete a special form called a C100 and it must be signed by an accredited family mediator before the courts will accept your application. If it is not signed, it will be rejected, and you may have delayed matters further.
The C100 or to give its official title, ‘Application under the Children Act 1989 for a child arrangement, prohibited steps, specific issue section 8 order or to vary or discharge a section 8 order’. Is the form you will need to use. Here, we explore how you would make an application if you have been stopped contact or you are being restricted.
Making a C100 Application
Jeremy Howells, experienced family mediator and practice director for FMACS explains the application process and gives a fascinating insight into his thought process behind an application.
Although it is mandatory to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting) in order to qualify to receive a signed C100 court form, it is not necessary to continue with the mediation process. Anyone attending a MIAM is quite at liberty to request the family mediator to sign-off the form, without the need to invite the other party to mediate. Normally, the process would be for Party 1 to contact a family mediator and arrange a MIAM. Following this, the mediator will then invite Party 2, or the ex-partner, to engage in the mediation process. If Party 2 refuses to engage, then the only option is to issue a C100 court form. However, if Party 2 accepts, a MIAM would be arranged for them, and following this, the mediation begins in earnest.
Why Mediators Always Suggest Attempting Mediation
Family mediators are often approached and asked if they will just sign a C100 court form. Most are reticent to do this, but as it is the right of the client, they are duty-bound to complete the MIAM and sign the form. Mediators will always suggest consideration for mediation is made in these circumstances and here is the reason why.
Imagine you have attended a MIAM and now have your signed C100 court form. You finish completing it and send three copies to your local court together with payment of the fees. Once processed, you will be given a court date and you duly attend. Now, of course, no one can pre-empt how various magistrates or judges will react, but it is likely, that the question of mediation will be raised at some point. Let us not forget, the reason why the Ministry of Justice demand you attend mediation, is so that you may find a resolution, without the need to bother the courts.
So, you are standing before the magistrates and they ask you about mediation. You tell them, you have attended a MIAM. They then ask your ex-partner and they say, they weren’t given the opportunity to participate in mediation. If the magistrate then asks if, had they been given the chance, would they have participated, then the likely answer, to keep favour with the judiciary, might be to agree. So, what do you think the likelihood is that the magistrate, will next suggest you go back to mediation? This could knock you back several weeks.
A good mediator will always recommend following the mediation process and invite your ex-partner to engage. It will only take up to 14 days more if they either refuse or ignore the invitation. In front of the magistrate, you can then tell them that your family mediator, invited them but they either refused or ignored your invitation. This could well put you in a stronger position.
Contact Us for Fast Track C100 Court Form Requests
If you believe that mediation will not result in an agreement, then we offer a fast track court form request service. Whether your ex-partner has refused mediation or you could not reach an agreement, our fast track C100 court form request service provides a quick way of receiving a signed C100 form.
For more information about the Family Mediation & Counselling Service and our online family mediation appointments, please get in touch with us on 0330 113 0005 or you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.