An emergency residence order is an order given to safeguard a child from ongoing risk; physical, mental, or emotional harm in situations of emergency. An application for an emergency residence order can be made by anyone who perceives a child is suffering, or his/her life is in danger.
The most common situation in which an emergency residency order is used is when there are suspicions of a child being subject to abuse, whether it is physical or emotional.
Generating an Emergency Family Court Order
An emergency court order application is made to a family tribunal where there is an element of risk or harm to a child. The applicant will need to complete the Form C100. This is the same form used in child contact orders.
Emergency family court orders are usually made without prior notice to the other party. These orders are approved without notice to the respondent. They are used when notice of the application would veto the application’s goal. The application should be escorted by a statement giving reasons for the urgent nature. The family court hears emergency court orders on the day of the application.
Should there be a case of emergency, the judge may consent an interim order. Nonetheless, the matter will be registered for a second hearing in which the other party will be given notice and empowered with an opportunity to present their statements and position.
What is the intention of an Emergency Court Order?
Emergency court orders are adopted where there is a risk to the welfare of a child. These applications are made to obtain a child court order without notice to the other parent and are usually heard on the day the application is made.
Can an application for an Emergency Residence Order be made to any Family Court of choice?
Yes, absolutely. However, although child matters can be initiated in any family court, it is advisable to make any emergency applications to the local family court where the child dwells or last known to be taken. This is to avoid any delays in getting an emergency residence order.
In some cases, both parents may be residing in the same town or city, and therefore, applications should be made to the local Court of the town they reside in.
However, in circumstances where one parent has taken the child away to another part of the country, the emergency residence application should be made to the family court of the region where the child has been taken to.
In a situation where the parent is unsure or not aware of where the child has been moved to, it would be ideal for making an emergency residence application to the family court in the child’s last known whereabouts.
Aside from parents, who else has a right to make an application for an Emergency Residence Order?
It is crucial to note that the application for emergency residence orders is not just restrained to parents of a child. Anyone can apply to the Court for an emergency residence order if they fear the child is in looming danger, abuse, or risk.
On the norm, grandparents do not possess automatic rights over their grandchildren as they were. In standard cases, they would need to apply for permission from the Court to make any child application. However, that is not the case when it comes to emergency residence orders.
Therefore, if a grandparent has serious concerns and suspicions regarding their grandchild’s safety and welfare or has concerns that they are being abused, undergoing an abuse, or in risk or danger; they can make an emergency application to the family court for a residence order.
Can an Emergency Residence Order be made if the Local Authority has taken my child?
Emergency residence orders are also known as Emergency Protection Orders, where the local authority is concerned.
In some situations, a local authority may be granted an emergency residence order for a child where inquiries are being made with respect to that child. Also, it can be granted if the inquiries are being frustrated by denying access to a child, or there is a reasonable cause to believe that access to the child is required as a matter of urgency.
In such cases, a parent can apply to dismiss the emergency residence order only if they were not present when the initial order was made.
If a parent has notice of an application for an emergency residence order, and the hearing is not without notice, then the parent will have the right to go to the hearing and question the local authority as regards the need for an emergency protection order.
How long does an Emergency Residence Order last for?
Most often than not, an emergency residence order is applied for by a parent, where the child has undergone harm or abuse or is likely to suffer from harm from the other parent.
Emergency residence orders are often granted without prior notice to the applicant’s parent. The emergency residence orders last for a short time until a next family court hearing is listed, which is often within a few days, weeks, or so.
The Court will list a hearing following the permission of the emergency residence order in which notice will be given to the other parent.
This allows the other parent to present their proof and allows them to make representations. The judge will then make a final ruling on the child residence, after which the emergency residence order will continue or be cancelled.
Emergency residence order applications can also be made by the local authority where they feel enquiries are being made about a child. These applications are also issued if the enquirers are being frustrated by not having access to the child, and this access is required as a matter of urgency.
In such instances, while the local authority must return the child to the parent as soon as it is safe to do so, the emergency protection order will initially last for a maximum period of a week.
Nevertheless, the Court has the power to extend the emergency protection order further, by up to 7 days.
What happens if the non-resident parent does not return the child before an Emergency Residence Order is granted?
Not much can be done if the non-resident parent has removed the child from the resident parent and does not return the child before the emergency residence order is granted unless there is a child arrangement order in place.
Most often than not, the Police will get involved where there are no child arrangement orders in place unless there is a form of domestic violence and abuse.
What happens if the non-resident parent does not return the child where a Child Arrangement Order is in place?
In this kind of situation, the resident parent has the option of making an application to the Court for the enforcement of the existing residence order.
The Court possesses a range of options when considering infringement of their order. They include:
- An enforcement injunction which is formulated to ensure the parent in breach of the order complies.
- Committal to prison
- A fine
- Order for compensation or financial loss.
Nonetheless, if the parent suspects the child is at risk of withstanding danger or abuse, the standard procedure would be to make an application for an emergency order, which, if granted, would mean that the non-resident partner would need to return the child. If the non-resident parent fails to return the child, the police and CAFCASS officers can intervene.
What happens if the non-resident parent does not return the child after an Emergency Residence Order is granted?
If an emergency residence order is approved of in your favour, this verifies that your child will be living with you. If, however, despite receiving an emergency residence order, your ex-spouse does not return the child to you, then help can be obtained from the Police who will usually be escorted by a CAFCASS officer to withdraw the child from the non-resident parent’s custody and care.
The non-resident parent will need to give back your child based on the emergency order. They will be given a privilege to present their case and make representations at the next registered hearing.
Are there other types of Court Orders relating to children?
Absolutely. Naturally, several people often want to know more about the kinds of court orders regarding children.
It is crucial to note that the Court has different orders relating to children, which can be issued in cases pertaining to children.
1. Residence Order
Residence orders are standard orders. The orders ascertain the arrangements of whom the children will live with. Several people are eligible to apply for a residence order for a child. Residence orders can be applied for by parents, grandparents, and guardians. Initially, the family courts would issue whole residence orders. However, the shared residence is becoming more common.
2. Contact Orders
Contact orders are also very popular in child proceedings. Such orders practically ascertain which family member the children will maintain contact with. Contact can either be direct or indirect.
3. Specific Issue Order
Specific issue orders relate to a specific question as regards the child’s upbringing. This can cover anything from, ‘which school the children wish to attend, to whether they can travel outside the country with the parent’.
A specific issue order can be applied by anyone with parental responsibility or anyone named on child arrangement orders, as well as caretakers.
4. Prohibited Step Order
This court order is popular also. This order states that a stipulated action pertaining to a child should not happen without the Court’s express permission.
The order is practically telling a parent or guardian what they may not do in respect of their child. This order is mostly used to deter a parent from changing a child’s surname, along with other issues such as withdrawing them from the United Kingdom.
5. Emergency Protection Order
An emergency Protection Order is used to withdraw a child from a situation where they are suffering considerable harm. With this type of order, the child is removed immediately without prior notice to the parents or a guardian.
This order is only employed in a genuine emergency in order to provide a child with immediate protection.
6. Supervision Order
Supervision order bestows the Local Authority with a responsibility to oversee the care given to a child. This order is used to assist parents to care for the children.
The child is not withdrawn from the parent but supervised to ensure that the child remains safe. Such orders are formulated to allow the parents and the local authority to collaborate and work together.
7. Care Order
The care order gives the Local Authority parental responsibility and authorises them to make decisions concerning the child, such as ‘where the child could live’. The child is usually placed in a care home.
However, the Local Authority does not have to withdraw the child from their parents if a care order is in place.
8. Court Order
The family court makes a court order for child custody. The order concludes with which parent the child will live with. Several parents love their children to be in their custody but are unaware of the residency order process.
This can be done without the involvement of the Court at first. Initially, our family law solicitors can try and act as an intermediary between the parents to meet and settle issues regarding ‘where the child will live and the contact formats for the non-resident parent.’
However, if such negotiations are not achievable or your partner is not willing to listen, we can help you in applying to the Court for child residency.
Before you make an application to the family court under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for a residence order or contact order, you will have to prove to the Court that you have attended a meeting known as Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM), and prove that either mediation is not suitable or you are excused from mediation.
However, you do not need to go for a MIAM before making a residence order application in some situations. This is usually where there has been domestic violence and abuse, or the Local Authority are already involved in the family matter.
How will the Family Courts determine whether to make a Residence Order or not?
The Court’s primary concern when making any of the orders relating to a child, as stated above, is what is in the child’s best interests. The Court will put into account that any hesitation is likely to prejudice the child’s welfare.
Therefore, the Court must have respect for the welfare checklist. This checklist enables the Court to consider if a parent or any other person is worthy of applying for the residence order of meeting the child’s needs, wishes, and feelings.
The courts will painstakingly consider any evidence presented to them, which concerns the risk, harm, or abuse being undergone by a child.
They will also evaluate if the child has gone through any abuse, harm, or is likely to do so. The family court must be satisfied that the making of the residence order will be better for the child than making no order at all.
What happens after submission of application?
Once an application has been delivered to the Court, both parties will take part in a telephone call with CAFCASS separately. This is to talk over matters that are related to the application, including residence, contact issues, and concerns that they have about their children, the other parent or guardian.
After the application has been submitted to the Court, there will be the first hearing. This is often used to deduce whether the parties can reach a consensus and whether there are any welfare concerns surrounding the child which need to be put into consideration.
If matters for child custody and care cannot be settled at the first hearing because of safety concerns or the parties cannot reach an agreement, then the matter will be listed for a second hearing.
Parents may be expected to prepare a statement confirming why they think that a child’s residence needs to be decided by the Court with a residence order. The Court may also demand further information from other professionals such as schools, doctors, CAFCASS, or Social Services to confirm they have all the information required to make a decision on the custody of a child.
Following this second hearing, the matter will then be listed for a final hearing where the Court will consider all the evidence and information before them.
What kinds of orders can the court make in relation to residency?
The Court has the power to make a full residence order or a joint residence order.
What is the cost of a Residency Order?
The cost of the residency order is £215, which can be paid at the time of making the application.
At Qredible.co.uk, our child law specialists have helped many parents and guardians with emergency family court orders and could do the same for you too. What is your excuse? Don’t delay and contact them today!
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