You do the usual court header, with Skeleton Argument of the Applicant (or Respondent depending which you are)
1 -Set out your case:
This is where you summarise your case and under which the Statute or Act the order you are seeking falls under. and , and the final paragraph should be along the lines of:
2 - State the background to the case
Include a short section of any relevant background to the case. This should only include information which is brief, concise and will assist the court. This section should also summarise what is agreed between the parties and what is disagreed.
3. Set out the points of law and relevant case law
If you are relying on case law to support your own case, use this section should set out any legal authorities or precedents you are relying on in your submissions.
4. Submissions of fact
This section would provide a brief outline of your main arguments, and should refer to facts supported in the evidence.
5. Summary setting out precisely what you are asking the Court to do.
The summary should set out exactly what you want the court to do, or in other words, what you request the court orders to do.
I.E. - A lump sum of £50,000 to the Applicant;
Transfer of the matrimonial home to the Applicant;
A 50% pension sharing order of the XYZ pension numbered 123;
Transfer of the ABC policy numbered 124 to the Respondent
6. Reading list/cases
If you are referring to specific cases within your submissions then it is attach a reading list and/or a copy of the cases to the skeleton. You should also, if possible, estimate the length of reading time that will be required.
Formatting, length, content and structure
There are a number of Practice Directions and guidelines in relation to formatting of the skeleton:
The font should be Times New Roman in size 12.
The line spacing should be set at 1.5, to make the text easier to read.
Number your paragraphs so that they are easily referred to.
The left hand margin should be set to at least 2.5cm. When it is included into the court bundle, none of the text is covered when it is bound together.
Paginate your pages - put page numbers in the top right hand corner of each page, to correspond with the page numbering in the court bundle. This will again, make it much easier to refer the court to when making submission. You could do this in pencil so that if something else needs to be inserted, the page numbers can be amended.
The skeleton should be as brief and concise as possible and should be no more than five pages. . Your submissions in the skeleton will be fully argued when you are in court.
Skeleton arguments are really for Final hearings. They are prepared by barristers. In my view it is rarely, if ever, sensible for a litigant in person to try quoting case law. The only law that they should focus on is S25 which is the main consideration.
As a self repper setting out directions sought it is important to state clearly what you want the court to include in an order and why. If this is for a first appointment, there are fairly standard directions like setting deadlines for answering questions. You may need to explain why some questions are important especially if the other side may object to them.
Other directions may be for property to be valued or for a pensions report. If you want to run a conduct case you may need to ask for leave to provide a statement as to conduct.
An actual draft order is quite a specialist document. If the other side is represented the solicitor /barrister will be asked to draw uo the order based on what the judge says should be included. If you are both LIPs the court will usually draw up the order.
If you need help with the position statement, it may be worth looking at the services we provide for self reppers.
thank you so much for replying, i have spoken to someone connected to the site and she recommended trying the forum as she wasn't sure. so in answer yes he represented and I am not. would you say this is 1 page document where i reference my questionnaire and explain why the information requested is important. thanks again no one else has been able to help me so far.
Pretty much. You may want to set out a little background but definitely confine the statement to 1-2 sides of A4. Remember this should be in 12 point font spaced at 1.5 lines. Put a header at thd front with court, case number and names of applicant and respondent.
i sent my information last thurs, (thanks again for help as i used your info as a basis to know what to send). however, they didn't exchange information with me or court. solicitor said they are very busy. i have notified the court. do you know is this happening regularly? or is this something unusual?