Getting a court order about your child

Normally, you have to go to a meeting about mediation (called a MIAM) with a the other parent before you can apply for a court order.

But you don't need to attend one if:

  • there's been domestic abuse
  • there are child protection concerns
  • you're applying for a consent order
  • you're making an urgent application in an emergency

You need to explain your reason to the court and may have to provide evidence. See Valid reasons not to attend a MIAM (GOV.UK) for more information.

Apply for a court order

You can apply for a child arrangement order, specific issue order, prohibited steps order and consent order using the same application form, called a C100.

Before applying, it’s best to talk to a legal expert or solicitor who knows what the court is looking for and the evidence you need to put forward for the best chance of success. You may also be able to get legal aid.

To apply for court orders to protect you from domestic abuse, please see Get legal protection from domestic abuse.

You can apply for a court order online or download an application form to fill out.


In an emergency, you can make an urgent application to the court and ask the court not to tell other parent you’re applying (a without notice application).

Tell the court about domestic abuse

You should also fill in an extra form where you can tell the court about any domestic abuse you’ve experienced. This is called form C1A.

This may lead to a fact-find hearing if the other parent denies being abusive, in which both sides get to put forward their versions of events.

Keep your details private

If you need to keep your contact details private so that the other parent doesn’t know where you live, you should fill out form C8.

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