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final hearing

  • bloss
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10 Mar 10 #191238 by bloss
Topic started by bloss
Hi all.

After getting a favourable CAFCASS report of shared residence my ex would not agree to mine nor Cafcass's proposal, so now we have to go to a final hearing. He has been breaching an interrim court order since November he only lets me see the kids alternate weekends, no midweek contact.

Ive also been told I'll have to instruct a barrister which I have to pay for up front £1000 -£1200 for a full day hearing, before 9th April. I have no idea where Im gonna get the money from?

What hapens during a final hearing? will I get the outcome sorted taht day?

This is all starting to get me down now, I cant believe this is taking so long to sort just because he wont be resonable.

  • TBagpuss
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11 Mar 10 #191382 by TBagpuss
Reply from TBagpuss
Yes, you should get things sorted that day.

What happens is that the Judge hears evidence - typically, this would involve evidence from the Cafcass officer (with your barriaster and your ex's barrister being able to ask him/her questions) then evidence from you and from your ex, again, with the opportunity for the other barrister to ask questions.

If the Cafcass oficer has made very clear recommnedations you are likely to find that your ex (or his representive) may well ask a lot more questions than your barrister does, as he willbe trying to get the Cafcass reporter to change their mind, wheras yours will simply be asking them to confirm that they are still of the opinion.

Depending on the issues, it may not actually be necessary for you or your ex to give evidence. If you do, whiever of you made the original application will go first. You will typically be ased (by your own rep) to confirm your name & adress, and the contents of any statements you've filed were correct when you signed them. Your own rep. may ask you a few questions to update the court about anything which has changed since the date of your last statement - in your case, this might include details of the breaches of the order , then the other person will have the opportunity to ask you questions. If necessary, after that. your own rep. can ask any questions needed to calrify anythingyou said in response to the other partys questions.

You barrister should talk you through what will happen but the if you do have to give evidence, the golden rules to remember if you are giving evidence are:

- Listen to the questions. Answer the question you are actually asked, not the one the thought you were going to be asked.
- if you don't understand the question, saty so. It is the barrister's job to be clear, if s/he isn't, that is his/her fault, not yours.
- if you don't know, don't remember, or aren't sure, say so. You are only human!
- Keep your temper.
- try not to be overly critical of other people, including your ex. Stick to the facts (i.e. "the order says the children are to come to me on Wednesdays but he has not allowed me to collect them") If the Judge, or your barrister, think that how you felt about his beviour is relevant, they will ask you.
- remember that it is the Judge you are giving evidence to, even if s/he is not the one asking the questions, and speak to him or her.

Also, when you are not giving evidence, remember that the Judge can see you and try to avoid things such as sighing, shaking your head or otherwise showing you disagree with what your ex, or any other witness or rep. says. Do not under any circumstances interrupt. If there is something you feel absolutely must be challenged, write a note & pass it to your barrister (or to your solicitor, if they are present)

best of luck.

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