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Preparing for Court - Help!

  • MissingMySon2009
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12 Nov 09 #161489 by MissingMySon2009
Topic started by MissingMySon2009
I have my first Court date in two weeks. I've made a section 8 application, acting as a litigant in person.

The COurt staff have tod me that there will be a conciliations meeting with CAFCASS, followed by a Directions hearing with a judge.

1) Should I prepare anything / take anything with me?

2) I think the correspondence to date supports that my ex is trying to disrupt contact between our son and me. However how do I explain the background to the CAFCASS officier without sounding like I am hostile towards my wife?

3) I'm also starting to prepare a bundle. For the past correspondence where I was represented by a solicitor the copies of letters that they have provided to me not on their firm's headed paper. Will this cause any problems in Court?

Note that I tried to serve my ex's solictor on Monday. He refused service and he refused to forward the papers to my wife. I have now served my ex directly but do wonder how some solicitor's can continue to practice when they are so hostile and unprofessional.

  • Forseti
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12 Nov 09 #161503 by Forseti
Reply from Forseti
Hi Missing; the most important thing you need to prepare is your chronology on which you record EVERYTHING, from date of marriage, births of children, etc, to all letters, emails, texts, etc. Put down all periods of contact, obstructed contact, etc. You'll need to refer to this constantly and be able to cross-reference to related documents, letters, etc. Sometimes chronologies can be very useful in establishing patterns, the development of false allegations, and so on. If you don't put all this down you'll forget vital things.

The other document is a parenting plan on which you put down exactly what you want the court to order in terms of contact or shared residence. There's no point going to court if you don't know what you are going to ask for. There's advice on preparing parenting plans on the internet.

You may not need these documents initially, but it is good to be prepared and to get ahead of yourself.

It is the job of your ex's solicitor to prepare the bundle, but they will charge you (extortionately) for copies, so you are wise to start preparing your own. The solicitor will give you an index only, so you will only have to request copies of anything you don't have.

You are also advised to go to court regularly to check what is in your court file, as the other side may slip things in without your knowing. You may have to make an appointment, and the courts can be obstructive, but it is legal suicide to go to court not knowing what is in this file.

Best of luck!

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