C1A Notes and Guidance
About these notes
This guide is intended to assist parents who are, or whose children are, at risk of domestic violence and who are applying to the family court for
a court order.
In such circumstances, applicants to court should also complete a Form C1A.
Download Form C1A
About this guide and the contents:
- They explain some of the terms used in form C1A that may be unfamiliar to you and will help you to complete the form.
- You should read all these notes before beginning to complete the form.
- Please do not enclose any original or copy documents unless you have been asked for something specifically.
- These notes are only a guide to help you complete form C1A. If you need further help you should speak to a solicitor, Citizen’s
Advice Bureau, legal advice centre or law centre. Public funding of your legal costs may be available from the Community
Legal Service Fund.
Please note that while court staff will help on procedural matters, they cannot offer any legal advice.
1. About you
If you do not wish your address to be made known to the respondent, leave the space on the form blank and complete Confidential Address Form (form C8). The court
can give you this form or you can use the download button below. It should be filed at the court at the same time as your application is submitted.
Download Form C8
2. Your solicitor´s details
You should complete this section if you have a solicitor acting for you. He or she may be able to help you complete this form and will give you the information necessary to
complete these details. If you do not have a solicitor simply insert the words “solicitor not instructed”.
Respondent´s comments on allegations
The respondent is the other party to court proceedings, usually your ex-partner.
- Do not complete this section if you are the applicant. Go straight to Section 3 (Further Information).
- Complete this section only if:
Put your comments as briefly as you can. You may be asked to provide more detailed information later in the proceedings.
If you do not wish to comment at this stage, this section may be left blank or you may insert the words “No comments at this stage”.
- you are the respondent
- the applicant has completed form C1A and,
- you wish to comment on the allegations made by the applicant. You must only comment on the allegations made by the applicant in his or her form C1A and not on any
other information elsewhere in the application.
1. Involvement with outside agencies...
"Harm" means ill treatment or the damage to health and development, including, for example, damage suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another.
"Development" means physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.
"Health" means physical or mental health.
"Ill-treatment" includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.
- If following an incident of domestic abuse or harm, the police, social services, mental health services or other support services have been or are still involved with
- any or all of the children listed at the top of the form C1A
- a full, half or step brother or sister of a child(ren) listed at the top of the form
- or a person who is or has been involved with caring for the children or has had contact with the children you should provide:
If any of the agencies mentioned above continue to be involved you should say so in simple terms e.g. "the police are continuing their investigations"
or "the social services are still involved". This list is not exhaustive so you should include all those that are still involved.
If you have any documents, reports or correspondence, appointment cards or other relevant paperwork please say so here. Do not enclose any of this
paperwork with this form. The court may ask you to produce this later in the proceedings if it considers that it may be relevant to the case.
- the name and address of any agency or service that has been involved but do not give any further details. You can comment on these later on this form.
- the name of the person you have as a contact within that agency or service.
- the dates on which you had involvement. (If you cannot remember the precise dates, please provide the month or a date as near as possible.)
2. Incidents of abuse, violence or harm
For each alleged incident of violence, domestic abuse or harm, please give short answers to the following questions:
- What was the date of each incident? (If you cannot remember the precise date, please provide the month or a date as near as possible.)
- Who was the victim of this behaviour? You should consider whether any child saw or heard anything and name him or her but do not give details here.
- Who was responsible for this behaviour?
- What was the nature of this behaviour e.g. was it physical, mental or sexual (and what form did it take)?
- How often did this kind of behaviour happen and give the date (as far as you can remember) of the most recent incident?
- Did you go to your GP or to a hospital to get treatment in respect of any injuries sustained for any of the children
named in this form or the applicant or other person involved in the incident(s)?
- Do you believe that the harm, violence or abuse is likely to happen again in the future?
3. Involvement of the children
If you believe that any of the child(ren) named at the top of the form C1A have either seen, heard or were aware of any
of the alleged incidents of abuse, you should say so here and say briefly how these alleged incidents affected the
family and the children. You will have an opportunity to give full details later in the proceedings.
If your answer to this question is "yes" you should ask whether he or she is willing, and able, to provide
supporting evidence. This evidence could be any paperwork supplied by the police, hospital or any agency
to which the incident was reported. You should also say whether or not this person is prepared to give evidence in
court. Do not attach any of the evidence to this form. The court may ask you to provide it later in the proceedings.
5. Medical treatment or other assessment of the child(ren)
If any of the children named at the top of form C1A have been referred by a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist for
treatment or assessment relating to his or her emotional, social or behavioural development you should provide:
- the name and address of the psychiatrist or psychologist.
- the date when the referral was made (this may not be the date of the appointment). If you cannot remember the precise
date, please provide the month or a date as near as possible.
- a summary of the treatment recommended or the result of the assessment.
- information about whether you know that there was an assessment and the whereabouts of any reports or
correspondence relating to it. If any of this information is in your possession please say so.
- information about whether or not this treatment continues.
You should not include any documents, copies of appointment cards etc at this stage. You may be asked to
provide this information later in the proceedings.
"Child abduction" is the wrongful removal of a child from any person having, or entitled to, lawful control of that child.
"International child abduction" is the wrongful removal or wrongful retention away from the country where the child
If you consider that any of the child(ren) named at the top of this form are in real danger of being abducted you should say:
- why you believe the child(ren) may be abducted.
- whether in the past there have been threats or an attempt to abduct the child.
- whether the child(ren) were abducted and give dates.
- whether the police in this and/or another country or any organisation or agency including any private investigators
in this and/or another country were involved in any incident of abduction.
- whether any of the child(ren) have passports in their own names and if so give their names.
- who has possession of these passports at the time you complete this form.
You may also want to refer to our guides on:
Parental Child Abduction (UK)
Seek and Find Orders
Prohibited Steps Orders
If you believe there is a possibility the children may be removed abroad without either your or the court´s consent, we recommend you contact the charity
7. Steps or orders required to protect you and the children
You are completing this form because there are allegations that the child(ren) may have suffered or be at risk of
suffering domestic abuse, violence or harm and you are asking the court to make an order for:
or Parental Responsibility.
These terms mean:
- Residence: this decides who the child or children are going to live with in the future.
- Contact: this decides how often and for how long the person with whom the child(ren) are living must let the
child(ren) visit, stay or otherwise have contact with the person asking for the order.
- Prohibited Steps: this prevents a parent from taking a particular action as set out in the order without the
permission of the court. This also applies to actions by any other person named in the order.
- Specific issue: this decides specific questions e.g. about education, medical treatment or a foreign holiday or visit
where parents or those with parental responsibility cannot agree.
- Parental Responsibility: this defines all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent has
in relation to a child and his or her property.
- Please say what steps or order you think the court should make to protect the interests of yourself and the child(ren)
named in this form so that you and they may be protected.
8. Attending the Court
If you feel that you are vulnerable or likely to be intimidated when you attend court and would like the
court to make special arrangements, please say so on this form. The court will try to supply you and your
witnesses with a separate waiting area and, if possible and where available, the use of a video link. For any of these
measures to be considered please will you explain why you feel you need them.
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Michael Robinson © 2014
Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales
Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's printer for Scotland.
The Custody Minefield