Why choose AN Law?
Choosing the right solicitor to help you and represent you during what can be the most challenging and upsetting time of your life is extremely important. Our Family Law team offers a personalised, sympathetic and professional service to all of its clients.
Our team is highly experienced at handling the most sensitive and complex matters that we believe requires a human touch and understanding approach, enabling clients to feel reassured and supported.
We have experience of dealing with complex private law Children Act cases where there has been; domestic abuse (including sexual abuse). We know that it can can be daunting speaking to someone about this but we are here to listen and to help you through this difficult time.
SPECIAL GUARDIANSHIP ORDER
An order appointing one or more people over the age of 18 years to be a child’s special guardian, giving the special guardian parental responsibility for the child, which that person may exercise to the exclusion of any other person with parental responsibility.
What do I need to do before making an application to court?
Anyone now wanting to issue an application to court for arrangements for children must now attend mediation to resolve matters. We would therefore suggest that you explore this before seeking the advice of a solicitor about making an application to court.
If there are urgent issues or welfare concerns, then you might be able to apply for an order without having to go to mediation. Please speak with a family law specialist about your options if this is the case.
What happens if mediation is not successful?
If after mediation the dispute is continuing then the court can make an order regulating arrangements relating to whom the child is to live and when a child is to live, spend time with or otherwise have contact with any person.
You will need to submit a C100 application to court to start the process. If there are any allegations of harm etc then you will need to fill out a supplemental C1A form.
What is the process and what are the likely costs?
After submitting your application to court it will be allocated a reference number, issued and listed for a court hearing.
The costs of us advising you, preparing the application form and attending the first court hearing usually costs between £1,200 +VAT and £1,500 + VAT.
If after the first hearing an agreement cannot be reached, then the court will identify what issues remain unresolved, make a number of directions and list the matter for a dispute resolution appointment.
The costs for work done up to and including the dispute resolution appointment usually fall between £1,000 + VAT and £2,000 + VAT.
If matters are complex and include serious allegations, then the court may list what is known as a ‘finding of fact hearing’. This type of hearing allows the court to determine what relevant allegations are proved and not proved.
The costs for work done up to and including this type of hearing may exceed £3,000 + VAT depending upon the complexity and how long the court lists the matter for.
Depending upon the outcome of the first hearing/dispute resolution appointment/finding of fact, the court will list the matter for a final hearing.
Please speak with us about the potential costs for a final hearing.
What if I cannot afford to pay?
We can offer tailored payment plans to meet the needs of our clients. Please speak with us about this.
What is a child arrangements order?
A child arrangements order means an order regulating arrangements relating to any of the following: –
- whom child is to live and when a child is to live, spend time with or otherwise have contact with any person.
- the order does not determine where a child should live only with whom.
- it does not extinguish PR which is held by any other person.
- intended to confirm the practical arrangements affecting the child’s life at any time.
- it can anticipate a potential future situation and be anticipatory in its effect, provided it is in the best interests of the child.
- encompasses all those involved – removes the basis for arguing there is a resident parent and contact parent which the previous law was well criticised for.