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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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can i ask the judge at a first hearing appointment for a 'fast

Resolved Question:

can i ask the judge at a first hearing appointment for a 'fast track' schedule for my application to vary payments to my exwife?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

There is no such thing as a "fast track" schedule as such in this type of case - although of course the district judge and the court will want the case to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

At each hearing, each party can make representations about when the next hearing should be and what it should deal with - within the framework of what the case is about and the Family Procedure Rules 2010. The DJ may or may not agree with any representation made - the decision as to when the next hearing will be and what it is to deal with is the DJ's.

In your case, the court has set down a timetable of what should have been done by the first hearing (Form Es, chronologies, statements of issues, questionnaires, replies to questionnaires).

If by the first hearing, both sides are satisfied that each has provided full financial disclosure as set out in these documents, then the first hearing can go ahead as an FDR - a financial dispute resolution hearing - with the DJ acting as mediator to try to find a compromise solution.

If either side feels that they have NOT received full financial disclosure from the other, then the FDR will need to be at a future hearing. The parties will be asked how long is needed to provide the missing information - and the date of the next hearing - to be the FDR - will be set accordingly eg "I need 14 days to file my replies to his questionnaire" - "and I need 7 days to consider the replies" - then the date of the FDR would be set on the first available date after 21 days. The actual date and time will depend on how long is needed for the hearing (FDR is usually allocated an hour) amd then when that time can be accommodated within the court timetable.

The FDR can only go ahead if both parties have all the documents and financial information that the court has set out in the court timetable, or if the parties are prepared to waive their right to that information and those documents.

 

At the FDR, if an agreement is not reached, the case will be listed for a fully contested final hearing. That will be given a time estimate of say 1/2 a day or a day, depending on the complexity of the case and whether any witnesses are needed. The longer time is allocated, the further off the date will be, as it will be more difficult to find a space in the court timetable.

So the speediest end to your case would be to reach agreement at the FDR, and get that agreement drawn up into a consent order, and approved by the court.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
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