If you need to ask the court to make a decision about child arrangements, the formal process is to apply for an order under the Children Act 1989. The application is made on Form C100.
Sometimes, there might be a change in circumstances after the C100 has been sent to the court, but before the court has made their decision on the case, one of the parties to the case may need to ask the court to consider something else in the case as well. This is known as making an application in existing court proceedings relating to children. The application to the court is made on a C2 court application.
This article will briefly explain what the C2 application form is used for and when it needs to be used.
What is a C2 application in family law?
There are three circumstances when you might need a C2 application.
Permission to start proceedings
Some people have the right to apply for certain types of order without asking for the court’s permission first – e.g., the child’s mother or father, or someone with parental responsibility for the child the application is dealing with.
People who have the right to make applications and the types of orders they can apply for without the court’s prior permission are detailed in another Government form, C2 court application – see Section D of this form.
If you do not have the right to apply for the particular type of order you are looking for – e.g., if you are a grandparent wanting the right to have contact with the child – you have to first seek the court’s permission to make the application. You have to tick the box in section 1 of Form C2 to say that you are applying for permission to issue an application, and then give details in the rest of the form of the order you are seeking.
Once the court has granted permission, you can then make your application in another Form C2.
You have to pay a fee to seek permission to make your application, but you do not pay a further fee if the court grants permission and you make your formal C2 application for the order.
Order or directions in existing proceedings
If you have the right to apply for the type of order you are seeking – or if you have asked and received permission from the court to make your application – you can use Form C2 if, for example:
- You want to change arrangements.
- You want to get an expert to give evidence when the hearing happens.
- You need to ask for an urgent hearing.
It might be that since the C100 was submitted, you now need an order to permit something to happen – e.g., for a child to attend a particular school – or prohibit something from happening.
To be joined as or cease to be a party in existing proceedings
The other time a Form C2 might be needed is if someone wants to be added as a party to the original C100 – known as being joined as a party – or if someone who is named on the C100 now no longer wants to be involved in the case and wishes to cease being part of the existing proceedings.
For example, a grandparent might be worried about not being part of their grandchildren’s lives after their parents split up and want to have contact with their grandchildren as part of the contact arrangements being applied for by the parents.
In all cases it should be noted that the court will only accept orders if it considers the order is in the best interests of the child and if the application is being made for the right reason.
How do I fill in my C2 application form?
The Form C2 is a relatively short form, only 8 pages (much shorter than the C100) and most of it is factual information, such as the names and addresses of the people involved. However, it is important that it is completed accurately with the right amount of information for the courts to be able to make their decisions.
People make these sorts of applications because the outcome of the proceedings is very important to them and most people have very little experience in dealing with these sorts of court proceedings. It is generally advisable to ask an experienced family solicitor to help you complete the form, prepare the appropriate wording for the order you are asking the court to make, and to present your case to the judge in court in the most persuasive way possible.
You will also have to send a copy of the C2 form to all relevant parties involved with the case that this C2 application refers to. It is not always straightforward to identify the relevant people who you have to give a copy of the form to, so this is another reason why professional advice is usually recommended.
How much will it cost to send a Form C2?
Costs depend on what you are applying for, but the court costs are likely to be between £53 and £167 per application. Help might be available to pay the court fees if you receive certain sorts of benefits or have a low income, but Legal Aid is not usually available for these sorts of cases, so you will have to pay solicitors fees as well if you use them to help you prepare the form and/or speak for you in court.
Is there an alternative to a C2 application?
Mediation is often a very effective way of having difficult discussions, such as arrangements for contact with children after a divorce or separation, and finding a way to agree. This is especially the case when extended family members, such as grandparents, are worried about missing out on contact with the children in the new family structure.
Mediation helps keep the discussion on track and focused on what really matters – in this case, what is best for the children – without the emotions of the situation getting in the way. You will still need a C2 application so the court can make the order, but if what you are asking for in the Form C2 application has already been agreed with the other parties to the C100 through mediation, it is usually much easier for the judge to agree to your application and can remove the need to ask a solicitor to argue your case in court.
Any application for an order in Family Court can be a stressful experience. It is often much easier, and much quicker and cheaper, to agree what you are asking for in your application with the parties beforehand rather than argue the issues in court. Talk to one of our friendly and experienced team members on 0113 468 9593 to find out how mediation can help you find a solution.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to use Form C2 or Form C100?
The C100 and C2 forms are two of the main applications used when asking the Family Court to made decisions about children under the Children Act 1989. Form C100 is used for the initial application, whereas Form C2 is used when you need to make an application in an existing case where a C100 has already been sent, but before the case has been finalised.
What can a C2 be used for?
There are three situations where you might need to send a C2. Sometimes a C2 is needed to ask the court’s permission to apply for an order. Or, parties to the original C100 might need to ask the court to consider another issue that has come up since the original application. Or someone might want to apply to join in the original application, or no longer be a part of the original application.
Is it free to send a C2 to the court?
No, a fee is payable to the court, although applicants who are on certain kinds of benefits or on a low income can apply for help with the court fees. However, if you need a solicitor to prepare the form for you and make sure it is right, or present your case to the judge in court, you will have to pay the solicitor’s fees as well. Legal Aid is generally not available for these kinds of applications.
Can mediation be used in place of a C2?
If you need the court to make or confirm an order, you will have to use a C2. However, mediation can be a very great help in coming to an agreement with the other parties in the case about what you are asking for before you send the application to the court. The judge will find it a lot easier to agree to your application if all parties agree to what you are asking for.
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