Seeking a Child Arrangements Order for a stepchild

Marie represented a step-mother who had applied for a Child Arrangements Order in order to see her stepchild. She was the child’s primary carer for several years and, unusually, had a Parental Responsibility agreement in relation to the child, which enabled her to make the application without leave.

Marie’s client ended her relationship with her former husband (the subject child’s Father) as a result of domestic abuse, and also has two children with him. The Father is completing the BBR domestic violence programme, and has breached a non-molestation order on numerous occasions. There are separate proceedings at court in relation to those children, who do not have contact with their Father at the moment, due to these circumstances.

In the case involving the stepson, the court ordered Cafcass to do a s.7 report, and a further hearing is listed.