TOPIC: First Hearing advice

First Hearing advice 2 months 3 weeks ago #97626

Since contact is continuing and isn't in dispute at current level (alternate weekends) the Court hasn't made an interim order.

My lawyer can't see me before the statement submission deadline.

In the order they say that one of the things they will decide on the day is if they can make it the final hearing or not.

They seem to be making it up as they go along so it's hard to relate what I have been given to anything I can read or find online.

My solicitor can't appear for me on the day but she suggested the direct access scheme for a Barrister. I am not against the idea but I'd need to be sure of the value of it - it will be expensive, especially if this isn't the last hearing.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 2 months 3 weeks ago #97632

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8258
  • Thank you received: 1699
Family courts are flexible and it’s relatively common for a hearing to become a final hearing, if agreement can be reached.

You can shop around for a direct access barrister, just make sure they are experienced in family law. You could contact your local Families Need Fathers branch, they may be able to recommend someone. Here’s a link to their website, where you’ll find details of meetings in your area.

www.fnf.org.uk/help-and-support-2/local-branch-meetings

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

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

First Hearing advice 2 months 3 weeks ago #97645

Regarding a direct access barrister, i had a similar thing happen in the early stages of my case, my solicitor couldn't make a hearing, i was given the option of one of his colleagues at £180/hr or a direct access barrister for £750 for the day. as i had no idea i how long we'd be in court i thought barrister would be the known cost.

glad i did went with that, she got the magistrates to elevavte the case to county level due to the impacable hostility by the ex.

Do you need a solicitor or barrister? could you use a Mackenzie friend to keep the costs down? MF's tend to be more family law based than a general solicitor.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Dad-i-d

i'm not legally trained....i'm just a Dad going through hell to see his child grow up and become a decent man and human being.....my goal is simple...to be the father to my child like my father is to me...my hero.

Started this battle 2010.....who knows when the fighting will stop!

Parental Alienation is real and is abuse!

First Hearing advice 2 months 1 day ago #97946

Quick update - I decided to represent myself again.

Family court folks changed the hearing from 2pm to 10am at some point, but omitted to let me know.

I had call from the Court Legal Adviser who actually apologised and said it was their fault.

Unfortunately that meant we couldn't go ahead as I couldn't get there before ex and her lawyer said they needed to leave.

The legal adviser was keen to get us to settle before the next hearing which I have always said I'm open to - and suggested I write (e-mail) ex's lawyer with a copy to Court to show I am trying - so I have. (I did this in January but although they sent an acknowledgement they didn't reply beyond that).

The Legal adviser also ordered ex to redo her statement to include what arrangements she'd accept.

Keeping in mind ex has paid a lawyer to submit her statement and the court is telling her it's not good enough but they were happy with mine, I am quite chuffed.

I do hope we can agree before the hearing (although I will still want an order now I have come this far) - but the signs aren't good.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 2 months 1 day ago #97947

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8258
  • Thank you received: 1699
Thanks for the update... Can’t believe they didn’t notify you, it’s a good job you didnt book a direct access barrister, you would have had to pay them regardless!

Well done on your statement, it’s not that hard but you’d be surprised how slapdash some solicitors are with statements. I imagine your ex wasn’t too impressed!

If she has any sense she will see that the signs are that they want her to negotiate an agreement with you, if she doesn’t, she’s likely to get little sympathy.

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

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

First Hearing advice 1 month 1 week ago #98262

So far negotiation has consisted of the lawyer sending me another of their very stilted letters full of emotive stuff and spelling and grammar errors, and restating what they proposed before the first hearing - no weekday overnight and only slighlty longer on the alternate weekends. This is not looking great. Ex herself seems determined to have her day in court - which is fine but I feel she may be disappointed with the outcome.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 1 month 1 week ago #98263

We now have a date for a 3 hour final hearing in May which looks as if it may actually happen as I'm not getting much joy from ex or her lawyer.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 1 month 1 week ago #98267

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8258
  • Thank you received: 1699
It might be a good idea to prepare a brief position statement to take with you, to bring the court up to date with your efforts to find agreement and what you would like the court to rule on.

Did her solicitors copy in the court in the letters they sent to you? If not it might be useful to forward them on, unless the letter states ‘without prejudice’ in which case they must remain between you and her.

All the best

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

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

Last Edit: by Mojo.

First Hearing advice 1 month 1 week ago #98338

Thanks - The Court is party to the letters so there will be no surprises.

Ex is going to have to pay her lawyer quite a bit to do the bundles I think, but that's her choice.

Lawyer is ignoring e-mails and letters from me - which their prerogative of course, but at least I can show I have tried to get things resolved.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 1 month 3 days ago #98427

nice seems like your having quite an easy time. with me, overnight contact is the holy grail lol. and someone is going all out to deny that to me.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 3 days 18 hours ago #99039

Final hearing complete.

I pretty much got everything asked for.

Ex's solicitors were unbelievable - they left my most recent letter out of the bundle - goodness knows why. The court had a copy and had to give us all a copy.

They tried to argue all sorts of nonsense about how I couldn't get there to get my daughter and I wouldn't be able to drop her off as I'd outlined or I'd be fired from work - I answered everything calmly and played it all with a straight bat.

Now awaiting the written order.

I am sorry it had to get this far but Ex is such a control freak she couldn't even try to be flexible.

Thanks to all on here for help and suggestions, good luck everyone

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

First Hearing advice 3 days 16 hours ago #99041

  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8258
  • Thank you received: 1699
Hi there

That’s great news! I was only thinking yesterday that we hadn’t had a success story for a little while and here you are! I shall be putting your post in our Success Stories thread, it really does help our members to read stories like yours. :)

Did you end up self repping all the way through? From the sound of it your ex didn’t get value for money

It was apparent from the off that she didn’t have a reasoned/reasonable argument and what you were asking for was entirely appropriate.

Excellent and well done!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dadincourtalone

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

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

Last Edit: by Mojo.
Moderators: Samantha Downes