A well respected, award winning social enterprise
Volunteer run - Government and charity funded
We help 50,000 people a year through divorce

01202 805020

Mon/Fri 9am-6pm       Sat/Sun 2pm-6pm
Call for FREE expert advice & service info


What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help going to court over a Financial Settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support for people who are going to court over a fair financial settlement, for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Getting a Judge in Court

  • u6c00
  • u6c00's Avatar Posted by
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
01 May 12 #327776 by u6c00
Topic started by u6c00
Hi all, I haven''t been able to find an answer to this, so I thought I''d post it here.

So far I have attended Family Proceedings Court twice, and both times there has been no judge present.

This meant that in the first hearing we left with a memorandum of understanding outlining contact, which my ex realised was not binding like a court order and essentially pi$$ed all over it by deciding to take a holiday in my contact time.

When it came to the second hearing, she decided that she was not happy to have the MoU written into an order, and in fact she was not happy for me to have ANY contact at all. We decided that we would not agree to her wishes, and decided to go before the judge and get a judgement. We then found out that there was no judge available again. Cue 3 hours of negotiation (at £220 per hour) to get an agreement that was acceptable (to her). I had to agree to conditions that I wouldn''t have agreed to otherwise, because I knew that in the absence of a judge and a court order, she would just do whatever the hell she wanted again.

So we came to some semblance of agreement, drafted it into an order and asked the legal clerk presiding to have a judge sign it off in the morning. Then we were told that the court were not prepared to issue an order in this case because Cafcass hadn''t done their full report. So after 4 hours and close to £1000 of fees, I came away with the same contact I had before (which is a positive considering she opposed contact altogether), no court order just another memorandum of understanding but some added clauses in her favour (she can vary the contact with 7 days notice, I can''t bring my son into contact with my girlfriend etc.)

Very frustrating, and I feel quite let down by the court system in this respect.

Does this sound like a regular occurrence? If a court is unable to provide a judge, what''s the point in us being there? Was I just unlucky to have it happen to me twice in a row, or can I expect it every time? The next hearing isn''t until several months time, and that''s to decide on the evidence whether a fact finding hearing will be necessary. Can I expect the same again?

  • dukey
  • dukey's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
More
01 May 12 #327784 by dukey
Reply from dukey
It sounds like you attended magistrates court is that correct?.

  • TomAdams
  • TomAdams's Avatar
  • User is blocked
  • User is blocked
More
01 May 12 #327786 by TomAdams
Reply from TomAdams
Sounds like you were unlucky.

I got a judge every time.

Still the whole Family Courts are farcical.

I self represented so did not mind the waits so much but my wife had a barrister and for the first two hearings they made us wait for 3 hours both times whilst other cases went before the judge. I just kept on thinking the whole time on how that would have paid for holidays away with the children and what a complete waste of money.

You pay a complete stranger over £1000 on the day to argue in court about something that you know inside out.

I came away from the whole experience thinking how much the solicitors and barristers in this area of law probably look down upon and despise their clients.

Only idiots end up in court in front of a judge. (I am one of those idiots).

  • u6c00
  • u6c00's Avatar Posted by
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
01 May 12 #327795 by u6c00
Reply from u6c00
That''s right Dukey.

Tom, you''re right about that last part. The only winners in this are the solicitors. I start with a legal aid solicitor next week, while my ex will continue to be paying for hers. I thought that would motivate her to come to the table with a sensible offer for contact and shared residence, but apparently not.

  • dukey
  • dukey's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
More
01 May 12 #327809 by dukey
Reply from dukey
U6 magistrates are not judges (most of the time) when you have a solicitor try and have it listed in county court so you have a district judge.

  • u6c00
  • u6c00's Avatar Posted by
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
More
01 May 12 #327811 by u6c00
Reply from u6c00
Thanks for clearing that confusion up. Is there any practical difference between the two in family law proceedings? I mean does a judge or magistrate have any powers that the other doesn''t?

Also, do you know how easy or difficult it is to have the case transferred?

Many thanks for your advice

  • dukey
  • dukey's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
More
01 May 12 #327821 by dukey
Reply from dukey
U6 magistrates are often not legally qualified unlike district judges, magistrates often rely on a legal clerk, once you have a solicitor they can advise you.

Moderators: wikivorce teamrubytuesdaydukeyhadenoughnowTetsSheziLinda SheridanForsetiMitchumWhiteRoseLostboy67WYSPECIALBubblegum11