Variation of Child Access order in family court
Have your circumstances changed since separating with your former partner after a court order for access was issued by a family court?
Our child custody law specialists understand that circumstances of parents change with time or the courts may have got things wrong in terms of the child access granted.
We have changed countless court orders for child access and are able to advice on the prospects of doing so upon review of your court order. Additionally we are able to advise on cost to vary a court order after reviewing the terms in line with what you are looking to vary.
Changing a court order for child access?
Changing a court order for child access can be complex depending on the terms that need to be varied and the reasons for doing so. A variation order in family court can only be made if there is an existing court order for access in place.
A few reasons for changing a court for child access may be due to:
- A parent is struggling to comply with the terms due to other commitments
- The child may no longer want to have as much contact or may want more contact
- A parent is relocating or has new work commitments which clash with the terms
In conclusion a parent may want to consider changing an existing court order for child access. Application for a variation order in family court involves the same process as when the initial court order for access was obtained. It is recommended for parents to try and discuss between themselves any issues with the existing order in place to try and see whether they can mutually agree to change the terms of the order.
An advantage of discussing between the parents is that you can explore the reason as to why an arrangement needs to be changed. This will allow you to try and identify the potential issue at the outset and try and resolve any differences. If you are not on amicable terms with the other parent then our family law specialists can try and assist you in establishing written contact.
If it is not possible to reach an agreement between parents then mediation could be considered in an effort to have assistance from an independent third party. We can assist you in arranging mediation to allow you to vary the terms of the exiting order without the need to go to court.
If you are unable to agree to vary an order through communication with your former partner or through mediation, then the final option is to apply to the court to vary an order. This should be the last resort and it should be evidenced to the court that you have attempted to vary an order without the need of court intervention.
How can an application be made for a variation order in family court?
Under the Children Act 1989 a court can vary an order. In order to vary an existing court order for access the Form C100 will need to be completed. This is the same form which is used to make an application for child arrangements.
Once the court is in receipt of the application to vary the order they will list the matter for a first directions hearing which will be used to try and reach an agreement based on the best interests of the child.
If an agreement cannot be reached then further hearings will be listed to present any evidence and witness statements ahead of a final hearing. Cafcass may also be appointed to consider any issues concerning the child welfare. At the final hearing all evidence will be considered by the judge in helping them reach a decision.
The courts have the power to either vary the existing order or keep the existing order in place if it is in the child’s best interest.
The courts have the power to vary the residence, contact, with whom the child has contact and how much time could be spent with each parent.
What do the courts take into account when considering a variation order in family court?
As with any child issues the welfare of the child is of paramount consideration to the court. The Courts will take into account the children’s welfare checklists within section 1 of The Children Act 1989. In summary a court will therefore only vary an order if it is in the child’s best interests. If not the courts will disrupt the current arrangements of a child.
— Q&A SECTION —
How much does it cost to vary a court order?
In order to vary a court order for access in respect of child matters, the form C100 will need to be completed. Subsequently you will need to submit your completed form to your local family court.
Many people want to know how much does it cost to vary a court order for access. The cost for processing the C100 application form at present is £215.00 by of the Court fee. You may want to check whether you qualify for any legal help on the court fee.
Who can apply for a variation order in family court?
Not all people who are associated with a child may apply for an existing order to be varied.
The following classes of people can apply to vary a court order.
- parent, guardian or special guardian of the child
- person who has parental responsibility for the child
- anyone who holds a residence order for the child
- any spouse or civil partner if the child is part of that family
- anyone with whom the child has lived with for at least 3 years
Should you be looking to vary an existing order due to a change in circumstances please do not hesitate to contact our child specialists who can look to discuss your query.
Am I breaking a court order for child access by not sticking to the arrangements ordered by the court?
If you fail to comply with an existing court order then, yes you are breaking a court order for child access. Should you feel the existing order is not working or there is a change in circumstances which may affect the welfare of a child then you must take urgent steps to avoid the other parent in enforcing the current court order for access and to avoid you breaking a court order for child access.
Contact our Child Custody Law Specialists today to arrange a consultation
Our team of family law specialists in York , London and Manchester are always on hand to help with your enquiries. Contact us on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options on how to change a court order for child access or let us call you back. We’re also proud to offer assistance around the clock, and did you know we can also provide our consultations face to face, over the telephone or on skype.