[Solved] The Family Court without a Lawyer
it's good suspense. especially if ex thinks she got one over you and your going to blow more money on a lawyer. she turns up to court with a paid for lawyer, and you turn up by yourself :p :p :p
About to self represent for the second time to amend an order and address a breach of the existing order. I want to increase time from every other weekend, every Tuesday overnight, half of all school holidays to 50:50. I have good reasons for the change, I’m a deputy headteacher with no concerns in any aspect of my parenting. There would be no changes to the children’s existing arrangements. However mum is trying to alienate the children from me, lots of evidence, she won’t communicate in relation to the children, didn’t attend mediation and is looking to try every trick. She has a solicitor who sends threatening letters, which are based on inaccurate information. I’m looking for any advice/ guidance when representing myself. Strategy, approach would be appreciated
its quite tough self-representing. I did it recently. just felt cornered most of the time. worst part is when ex's lawyer tries to wind you up, by making lot of false statements to the court lol. you have to stay calm and try not to react. its good to try negotiate with ex before you go into the court room.
I would if you havent applied to family courts yet consider waiting until life gets back to normal . If your ex sees a court application go in she will be even more hostile with risk of contact been obstructed. Also hearings are been done by skype email etc and some hearings dont go ahead at all. I only advise this as you got a fairly good contact arrangement in place currently and been a deputy teacher i am sure you are very anxious day to day with whats happening in our country as it is
My ex has claimed DV. We have been separated 6 yrs and I have had reg contact with my son since however September 2019 I had an accident and couldn’t pay CSA and it got nasty, she stopped me seeing him.
I finally got the matter to court August 2020 where she now claimed DV out of no where she was ordered to completed a C1a, she failed so do this was reordered to do it on the 26/08 so that I could reply for the next hearing. That is now today at 11.30 what are my rights that’s now 3 months she has has now to send this I can’t even defend myself because I don’t know what I am supposed to of done this is the reason she said she has stopped me seeing my son.
Has anyone got any advice thanks
Last year I got non molestation order and in this order two families were nominated to facilitate meeting with children but my separated wife knew that these families are travelling abroad to live therefore, i could not see my children. I want to make a complain to the family court.
Please can someone let me know about the procedure
Many families initially believe that they can dissolve a marriage without the intervention of legal authorities and representatives. But, as practice shows, the conflicting parties often refuse an amicable agreement. They prefer to dissolve the marriage through the courts, believing that this is faster and more reliable. In this case, it is necessary to monitor the preparation and timely submission of documents (claims, objections, etc.).
I've self represented several times now after paying out a small fortune on solicitors and barristers. Can't say that I have come across any one of them worth their salt and all have been more snake oil sales people rather than having a genuine interest in your case. Your just another cash cow until you run out. I've listed from my experience some pro's and cons of self representing:-
- Self representing yourself most importantly keeps you fully in the loop and the other parties representation has to communicate directly with you. It means that they have no alternative but to seek your approval or disagreement for any proposals they present on behalf of there client and vice versa. Instructed solicitors can often just nod in agreement on your behalf to save their time.
- You cannot be simply bypassed. In the past I was astounded by solicitors I had paid for agreeing to my ex's proposals without any reference to me believing that it would be a step in the right direction. When discovered, timelines would have passed and it was too late as orders had already been stamped and approved. A promise usually follows stating 'at the next hearing we will address it' which of course never happens
- Representing yourself means that it is all documented and you get to have your say whether agreed or disagreed and of course you have the opportunity to raise or challenge matters directly with a judge.
- You get far more respect from judges representing yourself and at least you get to speak for yourself and demonstrate 'guess what I'm human and I'm also a great dad'.
- I found judges would take the time to explain legal jargon for the layman something you do not get to hear when represented by a solicitor.
- You get to cross examine your ex, CAFCASS etc with your own bank of direct questions putting them in the spot light. You know what you want to say and solicitors will often deter you from asking such questions as they probably wouldn't get away with it. Of course a judge can shut you down but at least it will be recorded for the court transcript.
- Draft Court bundles have to be sent directly to you for your approval, this gives you the opportunity to review and request that any missing documents are included on which you are to rely upon in court. This could be crucial evidence to your case.
- You should directly receive draft court orders before the courts have approved them allowing time for you to comment on any inaccuracies that has been made.
- You will receive a copy of the judgment.
- Obviously we are not lawyers and therefore preparation for court, statements, emails etc saps up a colossal amount of your time and this can be tough when working full time and trying to switch off when your with your children.
- Opposing parties lawyers will bombard you with emails and paperwork to try and confuse the hell out of you, often amended documents with multiple versions of the same will follow in an attempt to side track you. There is an old business saying that 'if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with BS'. This is how they will work.
- The tactics will be delays and leaving things to the very last minute so that you do not have the opportunity to read through and digest the documents prior to attending the court hearings. My advice would be to badger them for the info multiple times as it will be at least recorded.
- Lawyers will deliberately slip things into the paperwork to advance their client in the hope that your do not spot them. These can seem like standard sentences but are often twisted in such away that they carry big weight for judges in the land of law lingo.
- The system is completely bias, bent, skewed which ever way you want to look at it so it is an uphill battle against a draconian system that is designed to be that the children spend once in the week and every other weekend with father. What ever contact you battle for, the system is designed so that if you end up with that arrangement you should be grateful that the courts have done you a favor to spend some time with your own children.
- You will be deterred from appealing any court orders and threatened with proving the judge made an error in case law and also threatened with court costs.
- Your just another statistic, the children don't really matter so the more lawyers who can provoke an argument between you and your ex the more money they can extract out of you. Even better when it is two lawyers working against each other for the 100,000 time. The game can be fined tuned in such away that the lawyers get their fat slice of the pie and the others get what's is often termed in court as the 'public purse' i.e. the tax payer.
- Solicitors representing the children are not neutral. There is simply no case for them if they are to support a fathers case. There is far greater mileage in opposing a father than there is a mother. It will be the father who is mainly going to challenge the system more so than a mother.
My own journey is still not complete however I'm a firm believer that the truth always comes out in the end. Representing myself has achieved more than any of the solicitors and barristers did for me and it has certainly cost less. If I had of known that my own journey was going to take so long I would have seriously studied family law!
I wish anybody representing their selves all the very best of luck.
@mr-pink good points. I self-represented last time round. for me the biggest disadvantage is the ex's lawyer is responsible for drafting order and they can act in under-handed way, like ignore your emails when you ask to see draft order. I left hearing accepting that I would get video call with kids once a week. so when I got the order, it stated telephone call. It was a remote hearing.