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contact order and shared residency

  • topcat16
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02 Oct 12 #358909 by topcat16
Topic started by topcat16
hello

My ex is constantly messing me about when it comes to access to my two boys, 4 & 6 . we had an agreement in place of 9 nights a month but she changes this to suit her. she is either not there or late. going away with them that weekend sorry or they are to ill to stay with you etc etc.
we are going to court to sort out finances and i am now thinking about the same for child contact.
but i have a few questions and would be greatful of any advice.
I have run out of money can i represent myself ?
what forms do i need to complete ?
who do i give the forms to ?
what is the process regarding CAFCAS ?
If i don''t get 50/50 access, will whatever agreement i get, still have to be up held by her and what if she doesn''t follow the agreement?

your thoughts please

many thanks

  • chelsea02
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02 Oct 12 #358910 by chelsea02
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Hello topcat16

Yes you can certainly rep yourself, I have and it has been ok. The Judges have tried to advise me as best they could along the way.The thing to bear in mind is the court want fathers to see their kids.

I believe the form is a C100 but you should be able to check it on the court website. You need to complete it and submit to the court with a fee! £300-£400 I think. You need to ask for what you want on the form and you may or may not achieve it.

CAFCASS is a big subject. They are social workers and my experience is they try to be helpful but are restricted by funding, especially now. Expect the process to be VERY slow, they will do a report as to how they think contact should happen and how often etc. This will probably take 9-12 months.

In theory your ex will have to abide by the eventual order from the court. It will depend on your ex though, mine still messes around with contact, illness, didn''t understand it etc. The Court merely wag a finger at her and say don''t do it again which works to a small degree.

Hope that gives you a bit of guidance!

  • u6c00
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02 Oct 12 #358911 by u6c00
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Hi, sorry to hear about your situation. Have you tried mediation?

Yes you can represent yourself.

You should fill in form C100 (in triplicate) and take it to your local court office (the security staff will direct you where you need to go). In the orders sought you should write Shared Residence Order.

Just a quick time saving tip: fill in the form online here and print 3 copies! Be aware that on my computer it doesn''t print out any tick boxes so make sure you proof read it.

Once the court have received the application they will check it over, schedule a first Directions hearing and return a copy of the application to you along with some other documents (acknowledgement of service, a questionnaire and a notice of proceedings). You must serve these on your ex or her solicitor (recorded post should be sufficient).

When an application is made to the court CAFCASS will be informed. They will initially phone both of you and do a telephone interview. They will be interested in any safeguarding concerns (i.e. drug usage, violence, mental health problems). They will also do basic checks with the police, social services and education welfare. They aim to have this report filed before the date of your first hearing.

The report will heavily influence the next steps. If either of you raises safeguarding concerns then they will need to be investigated etc.

If an agreement can be reached by any other means then you would be best to keep out of the courts if you can. Courts are happy to have a draft order presented to them to be issued rather than hear parties arguing it out through the court system.

Once a contact order is made your ex is obliged to stick to it. If she doesn''t then she can be the subject of contempt of court proceedings, though this is rarely in anyone''s best interests.

Just a side note, shared residence does not have to mean 50/50 shared care. Any division which the two of you will agree to call shared residence can be made a shared residence order.

Best of luck

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