Order of Children Act Proceedings Flowchart

This helpful flowchart gives you an overview of typical order of Children Act proceedings in England and Wales.

 

ATTEND A MIAMS APPOINTMENT

(Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting)

 

If mediation is unsuitable or no agreement reached obtain MIAMS form

 

 


FILE APPLICATION AT COURT

 

Form C100 for child arrangement orders such as:

Residence

Contact

Prohibited steps

Specific issues

Form C1 for parental responsibility orders

Leave to remove from the jurisdiction if child arrangements order or residence order is in place

Form C2 if there are existing ongoing proceedings

Form C1A if making allegations of harm and domestic violence

MIAMS Form

Issue fee of £215

 

 


SERVICE OF  APPLICATION PAPERS

 

Direct by the court through the post on Respondent or Respondent’s Solicitors

Copy sent by Court to Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service)

 

 

 

COURT TIMETABLE

 

Court sets a timetable on issue of application

Date set for FHDRA (First Hearing Dispute Resolution Hearing)

Cafcass to carry out safeguarding checks with Police and Local Authority

Cafcass to speak with applicant and respondent in respect of safety concerns only

Cafcass to report to the court by letter on the safeguarding checks and whether there is a role for Cafcass, prior to the FHDRA

 

 


FIRST HEARING DISPUTE RESOLUTION APPOINTMENT (FHDRA)

 

Parties invited to speak with Cafcass prior to the hearing either together in mediation or separately to see if agreement can be reached

IF AGREED

Court may approve an order, if an order is considered to be in the best interests of the child concerned, or note the agreement on the court record and conclude the case

IF NOT

Court will set directions to further the case which may include:

Filing and service of statements

Witness statements

Medical evidence

Alcohol and drug testing

Interim contact at a contact centre

Police evidence

S7 Cafcass report

Set date for Dispute Resolution Hearing (DRA)

 

 


COURT TIMETABLE FOLLOWING FHDRA

 

Compliance with the directions to obtain and file and serve all required information

Any witness intending to give a statement will be required to attend court to give evidence on their statement at a final hearing

Applicant’s solicitors to prepare a  bundle of relevant paginated documents for the DRA to include:

A summary to the background of the case

Chronology

Statement of issues

Both parties to prepare position statements for the hearing to be exchanged at court at the DRA and a copy handed to the Judge

 

 


DISPUTE RESOLUTION APPOINTMENT (DRA)

 

A meeting designed to try to settle the case by agreement

Court likely to follow Cafcass recommendation in S7 report if one has been ordered

IF AGREED

Court or legal representatives will draw up consent order for all parties to sign there and then and the Court will approve it

IF NOT

Any further necessary directions set by the Court such as:

Additional statements from each party

Addendum Cafcass report

Court sets a date for the final hearing

 

 

 

 

COURT TIMETABLE FOLLOWING DRA

 

Compliance with any directions set by the court at the DRA

Applicant’s solicitors to update and prepare trial bundle for use by all parties at the final hearing

Filing of trial bundle 4 days before final hearing

 

 

 

 

FINAL HEARING

 

Opportunity at Court prior to commencement of hearing to try to settle the case by agreement

IF AGREED

Court or legal representatives will draw up consent order for all parties to sign there and then and the Court will approve it

IF NOT

Both parties will give evidence on their statements and other disclosued documents to the court

Each party can be cross-examined by the other party or their legal representative

Witness evidence will be heard and each witness can be cross examined

Each party will sum up their case to the presiding Judge

Presiding Judge will give judgment and make decision taking into account S1(3) Children Act 1989 welfare checklist

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THERE MAY BE SOME DEPARTURE FROM THIS FLOW CHART SUBJECT TO THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CASE PARTICULARLY IN URGENT CASES OR WHERE THERE ARE ALLEGATIONS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

 

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