How do I respond to a Form C1A?

Earlier this month we wrote about when the Form C1A was needed, and how it should be completed.

To recap, anyone applying to the court for a child arrangements order, a prohibited steps order or a specific issue order must, if they are alleging that the child/children concerned may have suffered, or are at risk of suffering, domestic abuse, complete a form C1A, setting out details of the alleged abuse.

The point is that when allegations of abuse are made the court is under an obligation to determine the truth of the allegations, and consider whether they should have a bearing upon whatever order the court makes.

Findings of abuse against a parent can result in that parent’s contact with their child/children being significantly limited, for example by the court only allowing them to have supervised contact, or even no direct contact at all.

It is therefore essential that false allegations of abuse are properly defended by the accused parent. Sadly, false allegations are often made by a parent, particularly as they may enable that parent to obtain legal aid.

So how do you defend false allegations of abuse?

Well, the first thing to do is to complete the ‘Response to allegations of harm’ section in the form C1A, and send it to the court, along with your response to the application (form C7). This gives you an opportunity to briefly comment upon the allegations made against you by the other parent.

But it is important to note that, as the form states, you will be given an opportunity to make a more detailed statement later in the proceedings. You do not therefore need to go into detail on the form C1A of why you deny the allegations or, indeed, of any allegations that you wish to make against the other parent (if you wish to make allegations of abuse yourself and the other parent has not, you can complete a form C1A yourself).

In most cases the court will fix a ‘fact-finding’ hearing, when you will be able to give evidence to the court. The court will then decide upon the truth of the allegations.

If you have had false allegations of abuse made against you then you should really seek the assistance of an expert family lawyer. We can find you an expert lawyer that works with you on our digital platform. For more information, call us on 020 3904 0506, or click here, and fill in the form.

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