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TOPIC: Advice on varying a CAO

Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97693

  • nilbo
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Hello All,

It has been quite a while since I have posted on here. In summary I want to vary the current Child Arrangements Order.

It stands at present...

Week 1: Tuesday 3pm after school return 6.30 pm. Thursday 3pm after school. Over night. Return to school.
Week 2: Tuesday 3pm after School return 6.30pm. Friday 3pm After school Return Monday to school.

Unfortunately the judge did not want to make a ruling on holidays. My son will be going to reception September 2019 but easter holiday is approaching and i have asked the ex-wife for half. she bluntly replied no and after pushing for a reason said he is too young (4 years old) to do more than 3 nights with me.


Complications. Son is currently on a Child in need plan which is probably going to be escalated to a Child Protection Plan Next week. SW has also indicated that a section 47 report will probably have to be done as well.


There was a period of attempted reconciliation which has failed. This period was supervised by SS. Previously i was living in the matrimonial home. However now we have an oscillating agreement whereby whoever is with the child stays in the house.


I want to apply to vary the CAO so that I have half of future school holidays as well as the upcoming easter school holidays.

I need some advice on should i do this now? or Should i wait? The reason i want to do this now is that the SW is on my side and is fully aware of how the ex-wife can be. IE very difficult, rage, violent etc etc

What i am worried about is that my ex will argue that becase there was a period of reconciliation she will claim our sons routine will now be disturbed eventhough we have been having been obiding by the CAO for the last few months.

It is complicated and a very long story. I am sorting out the finances via a solicitor. He has advised me to let him take care of the Child proceedings as well. He is very competant, But financially i will not be able to fight on two fronts.

Should I apply now or wait? Should I go it alone or use the solicitor?

PS the SW is adamant that contact between son and myself is not enough and should progress.
PPS the CAO wording is "shared care"
I thank you all in advance of any responses. Hopefully now, in return, i will have time to be able to help others as well.

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Last Edit: by nilbo. Reason: added information

Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97703

  • Mojo
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Hi there

It sounds to me that you have a lot of factors on your side, courts will very often go with Social Workers recommendations and if the SW feels that contact should be increased, then it’s likely the court would agree... but there are never any guarantees.

If your child is to be made a child in need of protection, this will involve a care plan and multi agency involvement, is there a possibility that they would want your child to live with you?

A Section 47 enquiry means that Children Services must carry out an investigation when they have 'reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. The aim is to decide whether any action should be taken to safeguard the child and this might include placing him with other family members or seeking a care order. Perhaps you could wait for your child’s case to be escalated and make a more informed decision then... as this will happen next week, it’s not too long to wait.

As far as using a solicitor, only you can understand whether your financial situation could cover it, but the best advice would be to use their services if it can be afforded.

All the best

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I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

Last Edit: by Mojo.

Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97706

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Hi Mojo,

Thanks for your reply...always reassuring to hear form you!

I think there is the possibility that SS may want my son to live with me.

My plan is to try and talk the SW away from escalating to a child protection pland and a section 47. The reason i want to do this is because i know the allegations my ex will make in order to try and get the spot light away from her. i am satified the reason she acts the way she does is when we are together although she is very controlling and manipulative. Or do you think escalating towards a section 47 would have its benefits?

The reason i am keen to act switfly is becuase the case is soon to be transferred to another council. I want to ask as fast as i can to allow the present SW to provide evidence in order to support my application for increased contact.

Mediation would not be applicable as to the historic DV and also the latest episode where i had to call the police to have her removed from the property. Basically the Saturday gone she attacked me in front of my son and he was very distressed and scared of her. then she rammed her car into the front of the house which i have recorded on CCTV. She has already told the SW that I was the instigator. The SW did not believe her but said that if I do not tell my side of the story it would be to my detriment. I am hesitant to do this because I know it will just go totally downhill.

I'm reluctant to show this to the SW as i don't want to escalate matters. i know most must be thinking why the hell i am doing that. the reason is because i believe her rage is situational and by keeping away from her there will be no further incidents. I know if the roles were reversed she would not hesitate to throw me under the bus. I am planning to ask the SW if she would be willing to write a statement in support of my application. but am not sure if she is allowed to do this. but no harm is asking i hope.

i have stood aside in regards to the hosue to allow my son to have stability until it is sold and assets are divided eventhough it is solely in my name. probably not the wisest move but i had to put my son first.

1) if i was to apply to vary the present CAO what forms would i need to fill out?

2) Is there anyway to expediate the process in light of the upcoming easter holidays?

3) Should i be totally transparent with the SW?

4) Does any one who has under gone section 47 have any advice? did it work out in their and child's favour or the opposite?

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Last Edit: by nilbo. Reason: added info

Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97711

  • Yoda
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Hi

I would suggest that you complete a C100 and take this in person to the court asking for an urgent hearing in light of the escalation to a CPP and S47. You should get a hearing within a few days and can also touch on the Easter Holiday.

It might be worth letting the SW know that you intend to make an application.

If SW are wanting a CPP and S47 it would suggest they think your child is at risk of harm and I don't know why you would want to avoid this if that's the case? The mother can say what she likes but ultimately CS are currently investigating her and not you from the sounds of things.

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Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97721

  • nilbo
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Hi Yoda,

Thanks for the response. My reasons for wanting to avoid this are that I simply can't bear to go through the allegations she will throw at me etc etc etc. It will get so much worse before it gets betters. I have been let down by SS previously and dread at the prospect of not being able to see my son for a prolonged period of time like how I face before the CAO was ordered.

Also because she is very spiteful and vengeful. If things start to go pear shaped with SW I am sure she will also start to make things extremely difficult in terms of selling the house and moving forwards.

Perhaps I should fill the c100 out submit it and see how it goes from there? If she starts playing unfairly then I could turn up the heat? or would it be too late by then?

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Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97723

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I think your son's wellbeing needs to come before everything. If he's missing time with you and SW is recommending more I would say strike while the iron is hot.

She might become more difficult but it sounds like things are about to get worse anyway?

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Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97725

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At the moment the ex has calmed down and come to terms with the oscillating agreement in regards to the house. She is not stopping contact but will not allow holidays to be considered whatsoever.

I think if it escalates CPS and Section 47 then all cards will be off the table. The next meeting with SS, health visitor and nursery teacher is on Monday. I guess after that meeting I will be able to gauge how things are going to pan out.

In the mean time I am going to fill in the C100 form over the weekend and have it ready. I have never filled out the form myself before. Is there a guide? I am applying for a specific issue order or child arrangements order or both?
I am hoping it is quite self explanatory.

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Last Edit: by nilbo.

Advice on varying a CAO 2 months 1 week ago #97728

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they are quite straight forward.

Yes, you would want a CAO and a SIO

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