A Finding of fact hearing is so that the Court can consider the evidence surrounding allegations, usually of domestic abuse or harm to the children. Finding of Fact hearings are not routine, and usually only take place if there is a factual dispute about important historic issues; the Court will need to decide which person is telling the truth before continuing with the proceedings.
Evidence is presented t the court and will usually the cross-examination of the parties. After hearing the evidence and the defence the court will have to decide if the alleged incidents did or did not happen.
The Judge will have to consider the allegations made by each person, and then decide on the “balance of probabilities” whether the allegations are true or not; this means that the Judge will have to decide whether it is more likely than not likely that the allegations are true.
The person making the allegations will have to send a list of the allegations to the court. The list must contain details of each incident in chronological order, the details should include what happened, where, when, if there were any witnesses and if there were any police/social services/medical involvement. The list should then be signed, dates and contain a statement of truth.
The person responding to the allegations will be asked to respond to the allegations within a set timeframe. They should respond to each allegation individually, with their own account of the alleged incidents, and whether the allegation is true or not.
Both parties will have to submit written statements setting out what you wish to say to the court. Either party can ask the court to allow witnesses to give evidence to the court.