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  • Solicitor prepares the C100 Form and drafts Consent Order based on your parenting plan
  • They lodge the forms with your local court (Court Fee £255)
  • You then receive the first hearing (FHDRA) date from the court (which you both need to attend).
  • At this stage the court also inform Cafcass of the application and you will be asked to complete safeguarding checks in advance of the First Hearing.
  • Cafcass then contact you for a brief telephone call and complete standard safeguarding checks (to include police and social services)
  • Provided Cafcass have spoken with you before the hearing they then prepare a short ‘safeguarding letter’ which is duly sent you. This will set out if they think the court can simply approve the consent order at the hearing or if any safeguarding issues have arisen that need further investigation.
  • If no issues with the safeguarding letter, you then attend at the hearing and, in most cases, it should be a case of simply rubber stamping the order, thus making it legally binding.
  • If any safeguarding issues arise, the solicitor can then provide the instructing party with further advice as to what this means for the first hearing and you can pay for further legal advice if required.
  • If no safeguarding issues, court likely to approve order and your parenting arrangements are made legally binding.

Fixed fee child arrangement order

Once you have agreed a mediated parenting plan, many parents use that agreement, should any further issues arise between them.

But in some cases you may decide it is in the child(ren)’s best interest to have a legally binding child arrangements order put in place.

As this involves children and the legal system, both parents will need to attend court and the judge will need to agree that it is in the child’s best interest to make an order. We will instruct a solicitor to prepare a C100 Form and Child Consent Order based on your parenting plan. This will be submitted to your local court and you will be given a date to attend a hearing. Unless there are safeguarding issues, the judge will usually make your arrangements into a legally binding order. 

This order can then be enforced through the courts should one of you break the terms and it shows what legal arrangements are in place for the children should any issues arise in the future.

Read our Ultimate Guide to a Child Arrangements here.

Contact us to find out more about why mediation can help your case. 0330 999 0959 or email

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