Hello, we cannot afford legal representation and would like to have guidance on what to expect at a Directions Hearing, what to ask for from the other side and how to ask it. What is a reasonable period of time to delve into financial pasts? For example, we have been asked for 10 years of accounts. I would have thought that the relevance would be the past 3 years of business nosedive. Can we ask the Applicant for financial evidence to support her £200,000 mortgage being granted? All help gratefully received as this is very nervewracking.
If not, it is a good place to start - I gave 12 months worth of bank statements etc but if a business is involved I would say it is fair to give 3 years worth of accounts.
Once you have both filled in form E''s and had them sworn, you should arrange to exchange them. If you don''t get to exchange your form e''s for whatever reason, you should file a copy of yours with all supporting documentation to the court anyway
Once you have exchanged the forms and each had a look at each other''s forms, you will be then able to compose a questionnaire, asking all the questions you need to ask relating to information on the form E that you need clarification on. Again, once you have got your questionnaire together, file a copy of that with the court.
At the actual First Appointment, the Judge will have a look at the paperwork and probably direct you both to answer each other''s questionnaires and give you a time limit by which you should have answered the questions and given the answers to your ex.
Be warned, if my first appointment was anything to go by, it does not last long, you get all het up about it and you will only be in there for about two minutes.
Thank you for your kind & quick reply. Yes, form E has been filled but not sworn (at the Court?). If one has questions that are considered unreasonable from the opposition, is it appropriate to politely query the need to respond? For example, the expectations of 10 years accounts, etc etc. If taking a Mackenzie person in, does this person have to be identified in advance to the Court? Also, the ex (the Applicant and former wife of my husband) was aggressive and verbally abusive in the last Hearing. Are there people who can help in such circumstances? Last time we were represented and the solicitor took charge, blocking the way. All very unpleasant and the divorce was 17 years ago.
Yes, you can get the form E sworn at the court and you won''t have to pay, usually a solicitor will charge approx a fiver
In my case, the Judge just said for us both to answer each other''s questionnaires, I got the feeling that he had read them and in general unless they are really ridiculous questions, most Judges will ok them but as you are representing yourself i would say it would be perfectly fine for you to politey put your opinion, as if you were represented, your solicitor would voice it for you.
I believe if you are using a McKenzie friend, it would definitely be worth asking the court if you need to get the court''s approval, I believe some courts even ask for a cv - however if you ask the question, you will know what your court''s requirements are
Frankly, if the other side are not polite and present themselves properly in front of the Judge, they will run the risk of being informed of the protocol thus looking a little foolish