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TOPIC: SELF REPRESENTING - FIRST DAY IN COURT

SELF REPRESENTING - FIRST DAY IN COURT 4 years 8 months ago #44374

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Hey Guy's, I thought I'd write a guide on self representing in Court as when you are barred from your Child your head is absolutely all over the place and you feel like you have nowhere to turn I wish someone could of pointed me in the right direction.

Now I will only tell you about my experience and neither I or my ex had Solicitors (thank the lord)

So first and for most more than likely Mediation has failed you have been issued with your FM1 form from the Mediator which enables you to make an application to court.

You have filled out your C100 form and received your first Court hearing date, this will be called a "Directions Hearing" and that's basically a hearing when the Judge or Magistrates will Direct which way the case will go and make an Order for the next hearing.

Now if there is mention of any abuse towards your ex or your Child, Cafcass will become involved who basically represent the Child and their only concern is for the Child.

You may have received a Telephone call from them which they produced an S2 report for the Court at the Directions hearing and they will be a court Cafcass officer present during the hearing.

So the day has arrived for your first hearing it will seem very daunting indeed but you have to go in there prepared, find out the Address of the Court before hand and make sure you plan your route arrive as early as you can. Take with you money for parking, Food and Coffee.

Make sure you are looking the muts nuts too, Clean shaven, smart suit but a shirt and tie will suffice and what ever you don't do what I did and buy some new shoes and not wear them in, honestly I couldn't walk for 2 weeks after with 6 50p size blisters on my feet! lol

As I said arrive early get the security to tell you where the usher is and they will direct you to where your court hearing will be and what time if they're running late or whatever.

Be nice to absolutely everyone you meet you will be treated with the upper most respect so make sure you return it I can't stress this enough you do not want to be seen in a bad light at all, If your EX is in the waiting room Ignore her completely maybe a nod but thats it as it could kick off and you don't want that.

When you enter the court room you and your ex will sit at the back you will have a court legal adviser or clerk of the court one side then a Cafcass officer the other and in front of you the Judges or Magistrates.

What your body language don't interupt anyone ever you WILL be given your chance to speak when your ex starts unleashing all the lies and false allegations DO NOT REACT in any way don't shake your head nothing remain cool calm and composed at all times.

Remain extra cool when the Cafcass officer speaks you will not agree with one thing they say but as before keep cool and calm these people hold more weight in court than anyone so don't pi** them off no matter what you do they will and can make or break everything.

The hearing may seem all against you but don't lose heart it may be the same at the next hearing but thinks will start to turn your way as the case goes on trust me.

I found it all so daunting but when I got in the Court room I found I started to enjoy it and I still do it's been the hardest 6 months since I started the fight and they has been some serious lows and only a few highs but in a strange way I feel I'm a better person for it there's something liberating standing up there and fighting for your flesh and blood be warned though it is a bit of a roller coaster of emotions but you will get there.

Now the outcome for me was that I got a terrible report off Cafcass they basically believed every lie my ex came out with and I got nailed by them but they did recommend I be part of my Childs life.

The Court ordered I do a drug test, attend a SPIPS course and I had to produce a letter from my GP to say I went to see him to give up my Drug addiction then they arranged a review hearing in 3 months.

So all in all I'd say go for it self representing it really isn't as daunting as you think I am way further on that anyone I know with a Solicitor and never ever give up the fight.

Good luck


Slim :)
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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)
Last Edit: by MR SLIM. Reason: SPELLING

A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 8 months ago #44393

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Excellent advice - this one is becoming a sticky as it's good practical advice :) Thank you for posting it.

I think you are quite correct about not regretting it - even if it doesn't go as well as you hoped, you can live in the knowledge that you gave it your best shot, and of course, if it does goes well, you feel like you're on top of the world.
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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 8 months ago #44414

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xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)
Last Edit: by MR SLIM.

A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 8 months ago #44780

shall i tell you something I take my hat off to you personally.

Your an inspiration that other fathers need to take a note from, I am female battling with my partner whose fighting to see his daughter so much, were representing ourselves well he is with lots of my help and its stressfull, an emotional rollercoaster for us both but for the right thing, what solicitor in this world can give it from the bottomw of their heart when dealing with cases involving kids that aint theres that they quite frankly dont care about as long as they get paid, your doing it from your heart, within, deep down and thats all it should be about.
Thats enough evidence in itself as far as I am concerned.
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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 8 months ago #44782

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awww.....thanks that's brought a tear to my eye, The stress is untrue I can barely live with it but I owe it to my Daughter and her sister to carry on fighting no matter what it takes.

I'm just hoping and praying I get to be part of their lives again I've been open and honest all the way through and I'm just hoping the truth prevails in the end.

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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)

A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 8 months ago #44852

Watching my current partner suffer everyday is sole destroying to know that a human being can treat another this way,, its awful, stressfull and very upsetting to say the least but we still keep battling on

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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 5 months ago #49384

Slim Jim

When you say you took a folder of evidence to court. Photos, communications, diary etc etc.

How did you present this in court?

I have read that any evidence should be provided in copies to court before the hearing - did you do this?

Thanks
V

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Last Edit: by vivtalk.

A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 5 months ago #49391

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Nope I just took one folder in with me and I've used that as my court bundle, I didn't say anyhing to anyone and it was handy to have there as my ex started saying my step daughter doesn't call him uncle slim then I whipped out a moon pig card with uncle slim written on it for my birthday written by my ex from my step daughter, her face was priceless it was just very handy to have i put all my notes in there too from the first directions :)

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I'm no way trained in Family court matters so don't take my ramblings as gospel but I've been through the Court mill and learned so much along the way I just like passing my experience on to other Dads who face this absolute nightmare from hell, you might not be able to beat the system but don't let it beat you :)

A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 5 months ago #49747

Hiya.
A woman amongst the dads here..... fighting for a dad :)

My partner's ex is being an utter nightmare and demanding more money, changing access days to suit her and when we cant accomadate kicks off and goes mental. I have used my holiday days to help look after the kids and shes now decided they arent allowed here when its just me and only are allowed when their dad is here as well. (not sure of the reasons other than she is accusing him of being a poor parent and not spending enough time with them - when he is at work and she wants help my joballows me to be more flexible than his so we help out by me swapping my hours about)

She also milks him financially - getting £600 a month for three kids - we also provide school shoes, coats and bags, pay half all school trips and pay for out of school activities. as well as having them every weekend and a couple nights in the week as well.

Now is maybe the time to go to family court but we cant afford a solicitor - What are the recommendations on representing ourselves? She is a total nightmare and manipulates everyone - how do courts see through woman like her? Or dont they?

Many thanks

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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 5 months ago #49833

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Hi Stepmom - you're not alone on here as a woman, there are quite a few already.

The first step is to read the sticky topics/videos at the top of the legal eagle section on representing yourself, always a good starting point. You will also need to look at mediation ( www.nfm.org.uk ) as this is now mandatory (or at least attempting it) before going to court.

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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 4 months ago #52205

Bit of a daft question but, am I allowed to ask the judge questions?
Like if I don't understand something, I'm not expected just to know like a solicitor would am I?

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A few pointers if you're self representing! 4 years 4 months ago #52215

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You can't interrupt but you will be able to ask questions when it's your turn to talk. Have you watched the videos, they're in the stickys at the top of the legal eagle section.

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Mum and Grandmother, supporting my son who has residency of his son.
I want to see a much fairer system in place, where Dads and their children have a voice that can be heard.
There are many groups of people that have equal rights within our society and its about time Dads were given equal rights too.
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