At the last childrens Direction Hearing, the judge referred us to a section 7 report and asked that we file position statements. When exchanging position statements my ex has written a 9 page statement with attachments.
It makes all sorts of accusations and I am now unclear on how I should best respond to these and make my own statement.
1. Will I be too late / when do CAFCASS, or judges read these ?
2. Should I write my own statement
3. Should I puyt in writing my response to her accusations ?
It would be normal for the court to direct you to file a statement by a specific date.
Though it may come down to bad practice, it is possible to file your statement late, as long as CAFCASS have had it at least a week before their report is due.
If you were told to file statements at the same time, do expect the other party to kick up a fuss if you file late and use the fact that you were late to respond to your ex''s statement.
If you have a contested hearing once CAFCASS have done their report either you or the other party will compile ''bundles''. These contain all the important documents including CAFCASS reports, applications, orders and statements. These are normally sent to the court shortly before the hearing for the judge to read before the hearing.
In the statement my ex filed she made all sorts of allegations. Some of them had already been made while some of them were new. I responded to anything salient but for the most part ignored them. If the court needs to decide whether allegations are true they can order a fact finding hearing. My statement featured a paragraph that read: "I do not accept the allegations made in the statement of the respondent at paragraphs [numbers]. I ask the court to consider a hearing for finding of fact in order to establish the veracity of allegations made."
In the end in my case, the court decided that the allegations did not warrant a fact finding hearing so there wasn''t much more information needed.
Do you have legal representation? If so it would be helpful if you write notes or a draft statement for your solicitor who can then draft it in to a formal statement.