Some issues around Family Mediation can be confusing, especially the legal side with its complex and technical language. For example, you may have read about or been told you will need a C100 Form, but you don’t know what that is or how to go about obtaining one. Don’t worry. It’s a relatively simple process, and we at RE Family Mediation will help you with it, but you may want to get a head start and find out more. So, below, we have provided a simple, clear and jargon-free explanation of exactly what a C100 Form entails, if you need one and how to make sure you have everything you need to accompany your C100 Form.
So, here goes:
What Is a C100 Form?
A C100 Form is the document that you must complete in order for the family court to make a judgement on the parental arrangements for your child. This is called a Child Arrangement Order. You may have seen references to a ‘residence order’ or a ‘contact order’, but ‘Child Arrangement Order’ is the current all-encompassing term to cover these aspects.
A C100 Form is required by law under section 8 of the Children Act, 1989 in order for you to make an application to the family court.
How is a C100 Form Used?
A C100 Form is used to apply for 3 key types of court orders:
- Child Arrangement Order – these cover decisions around where the child will live and with whom they will spend their time
- Prohibited Steps Order – this kind of order covers prohibiting a party (usually a parent) from a certain activity regarding the child when it is not in the child’s interest. For example, this could be used to stop a parent from removing a child from school, changing a child’s name or even removing the child from the country.
- Specific Issue Order – if parents cannot agree on a particular aspect of child arrangements, then this kind of order can be necessary. For example, the question of which school a child will attend or if the child will receive a religious education rather than secular
Who Needs a C100 Form?
The simple answer is not everyone. A C100 Form is the first step in asking the family court to make decisions around child arrangements. This happens when parents have been unable to resolve things themselves or through mediation and need a judge’s intervention. It can also be required when the protection of the law is required to safeguard the child. The alternative to seeking resolution via the family court is to reach decisions together around the child’s best interests and this is where Family Mediation can be a huge help. Through Family Mediation we can assist you to find a positive resolution to decisions around your family’s future. Where necessary, we can create for you a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ which is a document that summarises all of the agreed arrangements and can be adhered to informally by both parties. Where necessary, it can also be ratified in court via a solicitor and made into a legally binding consent order.
These alternatives allow the you to stay in control of all decisions around the future of your children, rather than handing that power to a judge in the family court.
How to Obtain a C100 Form
RE Mediation will provide you with a C100 Form which must be completed in full. The C100 Form will ask you to provide an account of the situation including full details of the child (date of birth, relationship to the applicant, etc); details of the applicant (full and any previous names, date of birth, address, etc); the respondent’s (the other party) details; the nature of the application and which kind of order you are seeking; whether your child has suffered harm or is at risk of suffering harm and whether you have suffered or are at risk of suffering domestic violence.
There is an option to include a ‘Position Statement’ with the C100 application. It is not a legal requirement, but it allows you to give more details of the situation and put forward a proposal and the reasons for it. It allows the court to get a clearer view of the whole situation and may be useful in assisting your case. RE Mediation offers the option to provide this statement (see costs below).
From 22nd April 2014, all applicants to court in relevant family proceedings will be expected to have attended a Mediation Assessment and Information Meeting (MIAM) before applying to court unless your case meets one of the exemption criteria. For example, if there is evidence of domestic violence or there are child protection concerns.
What Will a C100 Form Cost?
A C100 Form costs £50 with an additional £215 Court Fee. The form can be submitted via email or hard copies by post (the latter option requires 3 copies, and a postage charge will be applied)
We can provide a ‘Position Statement’ (see previous section) at a cost of £25. This is optional but may aid your application.
How Long will it take to Process the C100 Form?
This is a bit of a ‘How Long Is a Piece of String?’ question. The keyword here is ‘depends’. If there are any complex situations or safeguarding issues, this will delay the process. But something as simple as a backlog of work at a specific court can affect the timeline. However, in our experience, 6-8 weeks seems to be the average processing time.