Child Arrangements Package

If you are having difficulty seeing your child or you are worried that your former partner will not return your child to you after contact, you can seek the help of the court by applying for a Child Arrangement Order (CAO). Before you can apply in most cases you will need to have gone to family mediation. A CAO can contain lots of different provisions such a “live with” order, “time with” order, prohibited steps order or specific issue order depending on your own unique circumstances. For further information read our “Guide” link.

We have created a package in stages so that you only need to pay for the steps needed. In most cases the issues put before the court will be resolved by agreement during the course of proceedings. At the first hearing you may reach an interim agreement that needs to be tried and reviewed at a second hearing before making the arrangements final. In other cases CAFCASS may be ordered to prepare a report which will need to be reviewed at a second hearing. If no agreement can be reached the court will progress your case to a final hearing (trial).

Child Package Stage 1 includes:-

  • A one hour appointment for advice & information gathering, all telephone calls and letters to you, the court and the other side until the first hearing is complete.
  • Drafting the Application, filing the application at court and serving the papers (by post) on all Respondents.
  • Court Bundles.
  • Attendance at the First Hearing (FHDRA) at court.
  • Travel to & from court within 1 hour of the office. There will be an additional charge for more distant court attendance.

Legal Fees £1,500.00

VAT (20%) £300.00

Court Fee £215.00

Total £2,015.00

If the initial hearing does not resolve matters by agreement, the court will consider the Cafcass recommendations and may order a report, a review of interim arrangements or that parties proceed to a final hearing. If your case is listed for a second hearing you will need to proceed to Stage 2. If your case is moved straight to a final hearing you will need stage 3.

Child Package Stage 2 includes:-

  • Dealing with the CAFCASS service and any report ordered (as applicable). Obtaining your instructions upon the same.
  • All letters and telephone calls up to the completion of the second hearing.
  • Attendance at the subsequent review hearing where listed by the court.
  • Update court bundle.
  • Where an agreement is not forthcoming we will ask the court to order a final hearing.
  • Filing of a Child Arrangements Order (by consent) where an agreement has been reached.

Legal Fees £1,500.00

VAT (20%) £300.00

Total £1,800.00 (in addition to Stage 1 above)

The possible "add ons" to the above, are:

  • Personal Service by a Process Server of the Application papers upon your spouse/ex-partner.

In certain circumstances your spouse/ex-partner may ignore/fail to acknowledge your application. If this happens it is likely that you will need the application papers personally served. The Process Server, will promptly locate your spouse/ex-partner and serve them with the papers. This is likely to cost between £95.00 - £150.00.

  • Extra Hearings, Emergency Hearings, Finding of Fact or further applications

In certain cases it may become necessary to make an additional application, such as prohibited steps order, interim contact order or specific issue order application (whilst your main application is ongoing). In cases involving domestic abuse the court may order a Finding of Fact hearing to determine what incidents did or didn’t happen. This particular type of hearing is the same as a final hearing within your application the end determination will often be required by Cafcass before they will make any contact recommendations. Should such a step become necessary we will provide you with a bespoke fixed fee to suit your circumstances.

  • Expert Reports

Sometimes it is necessary to have an expert report prepared. This will be ordered by the court and may for example be a psychologists report, drug/alcohol testing etc. The cost of such a report maybe your sole cost or it may be shared jointly with your ex-partner. This will be clarified by the court at the time the report is ordered. If such a report is necessary an estimate of costs will be obtained from an appropriate agreed specialist and you will need to deposit your share of the fees before such a report is commissioned.

  • Travel to courts greater than one hour away from our office.

Child Package Stage 3 includes:-

In the event that an agreement was not possible during your proceedings the court will order that a Final Hearing take place. There will be a number of things to prepare for trial, including; drafting your statement and those of any witnesses, trial bundle, brief to counsel etc.

  • You will need to employ the services of a Barrister to represent you at trial, in addition to us attending to assist. We will arrange this for you.
  • Preparation of statements (limited to 3 including your own).
  • Update court bundles for final hearing.
  • Brief your barrister.
  • All letters and telephone calls up to the completion of the final hearing.
  • The cost of stage 3 is in addition to all earlier stages above:

Legal Fees £2,000.00

VAT (20%) £400.00

Total £2,400.00 (in addition to all Stages above)

The "add ons" to your package are:

  • Barristers Fees

You will need to instruct a barrister to represent yu at the final hearing. A cost estimate will be obtained in advance and you will need to deposit funds before the hearing to cover the fee. The likely cost of a Barrister will be in the region £750.00 to £1,500.00 + VAT this will depend upon the estimated length of your hearing and the seniority of the Barrister instructed.

  • Expert Fees

If you have had an expert report the expert in certain cases may be needed to attend the final hearing. If this is the case an estimate of their charges will be obtained in advance and you will need to deposit funds before the hearing to cover the fee.

  • Travel to courts greater than one hour away from our office.

Complex/Unusual Cases

Our Package fees have been designed to provide fixed fee representation for the average case with a standard number of hearings. Should your situation become complex or if your case is unusual for example requiring numerous witnesses, expert evidence and/or additional further hearings then our package fees will not be applicable.

We are however, happy to provide a tailor made package fee specifically for your case, once we have discussed your requirements.

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