There are some specific situations where there is extreme urgency in getting Child Arrangements in place. When these arise you must act straight away. READ MORE
What is an Urgent Application?
If your ex is involved in any or a combination of the actions below you should report it to the police immediately and attend court for an urgent hearing and possibly for transfer of the child to your care or foster care.
- Your ex has or is intending to leave the country with your children without your agreement and with no Child Arrangements Order (CAO) in force.
- Abduction e.g. removal of the child from the UK permanently.
- Physical abuse of children, e.g. beatings, FGM, sexual abuse, forced marriage, forced labour, preventing school attendance, medical care, inoculations, or play.
- Psychological abuse of the children. Controlling behaviour and Parental Alienation that may put the child's life in danger, indoctrination of extreme religious views or entry into a cult.
- Safeguarding issues e.g. parental drug addiction or alcoholism which put the child at risk, driving while drunk with the children, mental health issues that compromise parenting capacity.
- Leaving young children alone at home for extended periods such that they may be at risk of harm, such as leaving a child under 13 alone at home while the parent goes to work.
Report the issues to the police immediately and ask for an urgent Welfare Check and for them to remove the child to your custody. If you are unable to get the voluntary transfer of the child to your care with the help of Police family and friends, immediately apply to the Family Court for an urgent transfer of residence. (C100 form). This can be a transfer to you or another family member whichever provides the maximum protection for the child.
How do I get to court? Please see this article: How do I go to court and what will it cost?
- Fill in a C100 form asking for a Child Arrangements Order. In the box on page 1 say you want a CAO and a transfer of residence. Tick the relevant boxes under Concerns about Risk of Harm. Under Additional Information Required, tick the relevant boxes (not the first one). Tick Urgency in Section 3 and the relevant box in Section 3c. Complete section 5a by briefly describing the risks to your child if she/he remains with their mother/father. You will be able to give more details in court and in writing when you arrive. Complete 6a and 6b. Complete Sections 7,8, 9 and 10 if necessary. In Section 11 give your full details and Section 12 the details of your ex. as far as you know them. Then complete 13 and 14.
- If you don’t know the address or whereabouts of your ex complete Form C4.
- If you want your address kept secret from your ex complete form C8.
- If you are on benefits complete form EX160 as you may qualify for a free application.
- Make sure you attach copies of any evidence to your applications. If these are on a phone or computer, have them with you.
- Make it clear in the paperwork what you want to say. E.g. “I have evidence that my ex is living in a drug den with four suppliers”, “I have evidence that my ex intends to abduct my child to Northern Cyprus” etc.
What happens next?
Take the forms the same or the very next day, with a benefits letter if you are on benefits, to your nearest Family Court and tell them you need to see a judge for an urgent hearing. A judge will review your paperwork and decide if your application is indeed urgent. If it is urgent you will be able to see the judge and talk to him/her about you fears and plans for your child/ren.
The police will report the issues to Social Services who will visit your child’s other parent to check your allegations. Cooperate fully with Social Services to help them provide a place of safety for the child.
In the case of an impending abduction abroad, ask the police to put out an "All Ports Warning" of "Port Alert" to stop the child being taken out of the country.
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