If you are self representing, it is important to understand the process and make sure you follow the instructions in documents from the court.
The first hearing is really administrative, designed to ensure you have full financial disclosure on which a settlement may be based.
A standard order will be drawn up to set out what needs to be done before the second hearing or FDR. This may be valuations, an actuary's report or something specific to the case.
If one of you is LIP and the other is represented their solicitor will usually draw up the order for the judge to sign.
The time when it may be useful to have either representation, if affordable OR at least some good legal advice based on the disclosure, valuations etc, is in the run up to FDR and at the hearing where negotiations take place. You can use a direct access barrister and/or the cost effective services offered by this site to support LIPs. Look at the services tab or give the helpline a call.