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Going to court for the first time

  • coping so far
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11 May 09 #115261 by coping so far
Topic started by coping so far
Hi,

I have had no dealing with courts in my life up to now so this whole thing is new, and frightening too I guess.
I have a directions hearing coming up, a talk with a CAFCASS officer then with the judge. I want to make a good impression and have no idea whether shirt, tie, suit is something that judges prefer to see - obviously first impressions can be vital.
I don't wear a tie at work and dont possess a suit. What is expected, what would be most effective?
I am trying to do the best I can for my son and need to get this right !!
Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • TBagpuss
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11 May 09 #115267 by TBagpuss
Reply from TBagpuss
Don't go out to buy a suit specially the court dress code only applies to the lawyers!

Smart casual will be fine. I would suggest you avoid wearing a baseball cap or other kind of hat,and go for a plain shirt/t shirt rather than one which is very flamboyant or covered in logos.

If it gives the impression that you are taking the process seriously it can't hurt- i.e. you don't look like you just rolled out of bed! But the Judge and Cafcass Officer are interested in what you say and what you have to offer you son, not your dress sense.

Good Luck.

  • coping so far
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11 May 09 #115293 by coping so far
Reply from coping so far
Thanks for you reply. I wil be taking it seriously and I can do smart casual, no problem.
I never feelk comfortable in a tie so I am thinking smart open necked short sleeve short - no T shirts or baseball caps here!!

  • ClimbMountains
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12 May 09 #115527 by ClimbMountains
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Hi. Just be smart and no bright/loud colours.

The first hearing normally involves a lot of sitting around and nothing much happening (unless you are really lucky). You have not said anything about the case, whether there are solicitors, whether you are the applicant and whether you are the primary carer....

Give some thought to what you actually want. Also if a final solution isn't possible what would work as an interim.

In terms of cafcass just focus on the kids.

  • Young again
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12 May 09 #115539 by Young again
Reply from Young again
Hi coping so far,

Don't worry!

The courts like a bit of respect so as long as you are clean and don't dress outlandishly (eg in a pirate costume, lol!) you'll be alright.

Refer to the judge as sir or madam as appropriate and don't forget that they are there to help the parties resolve the issues, so if you don't understand something don't be afraid to ask politely that it be explained to you.

Please remember to bring with you what you want to say all written down just in case you forget them, together with a working pen and a notebook/paper for jotting things down.

A small bottle of water and a tissue/handkerchief might also come in handy.

Good luck!

YA

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12 May 09 #115542 by coping so far
Reply from coping so far
Thanks for all the helpful advice. I am the applicant, solicitors will be there ( at great expense, sadly ) and I am trying to increase the time I have with my seven year old son as his mother is restricting when we can see one another.

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12 May 09 #115543 by ClimbMountains
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You can always act in person rather than have solicitors.

who much time do you currently spend with your son? How long have current arrangements existed? How is mother restricting this?

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