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The 1st Hearing!! What Will Happen?!!

  • PapasLove
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22 Feb 10 #187399 by PapasLove
Topic started by PapasLove
My partner has the 1st hearing coming up in early March. He is quite shy and we cannot afford legal representation. :(This could spell disaster but we're staying positive, trying to get a McKenzie friend and doing as much research as possible.

Could anyone tell us what happens at the 1st hearing? If we can't get a friend in time, we'd like to be prepared for what might be a bumpy ride.

He currently sees his son once a month for an overnight stay, could he ask for an interim order for fortnightly contact at the hearing?

She has just said she wants to go to mediation but my partner has said no as she hasn't wanted to for years and now a couple of weeks before court, she has suggested it. Will the courts penalise my partner for not taking up her offer?

Thank you. :)

  • zonked
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22 Feb 10 #187403 by zonked
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Your ptr's application seems very reasonable. Perhaps he could write down his points beforehand to help with the presentation or alternatively use a position statement. I personally think a litigant that comes across as 'shy' is not a handicap; much better than being seen as arrogant or controlling.

There are two potential dangers I would highlight for a first time litigant.

1. A lot of action happens outside the courtroom. The ex's solicitor will come over and negotiate. If your feeling nervous already the temptation is to agree 'something' rather than risk a contested hearing. These solicitors are very skilled; they may try and come across as your mate, or, may try and wind you up to make you appear angry in court. Be polite. Have a clear idea of what you want. If no agreement is possible, politely say that you think the Judge should decide the issue. Don't get sucked in to the trap of presenting your whole case, just stick to simple points and narrow the differences where possible.

2. The first hearing would normally involve CAFCASS. They will talk to both parties separately and then together. Your ptr should simply remain child focussed. The ex may rant and rave, let her. Your ptr simply needs to come across as the reasonable and calm man I’m sure he is.

Good luck.

  • PapasLove
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23 Feb 10 #187405 by PapasLove
Reply from PapasLove
Thank you Zonked, you're so reliable at putting our minds, and racing hearts at rest!! :)

  • eyes on horizon
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23 Feb 10 #187464 by eyes on horizon
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Hi there

Yes its not at all as scary as you are probably imagining it will be.

Prepare to sit around for ages!

Her solicitor will approach you beforehand. Do not agree to anything there and then.

You will most likely meet with CAFCASS beforehand to try and sort it out between yourselves and you may find she is then in agreement, if so it will be rubberstamped by a judge and hold the same weight as a formal contact order. If they can not agree the judge will let you know how to proceed but he must ask for interm contact in the meantime.

IF she is suggesting mediation and your OH refuses and the courts question this..he can state that he believed it to be a delay tactic and did not want the current status quo of contact to continue on and wanted a formal order asap.

are you going to attend?
probably not the best idea.

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