How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

There, I am in Court on Monday Directions Hearing

Customer Question

Hi there,
I am in Court on Monday for a Directions Hearing on the residency of my two children following me obtaining a Prohibitive Steps Order and them having resided temporarily with me for the past 2 months due to their mother turning up at Nursery drunk to collect them. A Section 7 Report (the second one) has been prepared with a strong recommendation that the children reside with me (as did the first one which was not adhered to) - I am self-representing and my ex-partner has full legal representation including a Barrister. As directed in the last Order the parties statements and any witness statements needed to be filed by 4pm on Friday 4th July - I adhered to this Order however no statement has been filed by my ex-partner nor have I received a statement. I have briefly spoke to her about this and all she says is "my solicitor is dealing with this" - What does this mean for me at the hearing on Monday which has been listed for all day - if she files on the day I have not had an opportunity to see or read this statement and compile my responses to it - I am a little worried as to what she's up to - could you please shed any light on what I can expect or how I should deal with this matter before the Judge on Monday. Thank you.
Scott Mills
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
For clarity is it listed as a Directions Hearing or as a Final Hearing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi there
It is a directions hearing for residency - all witnesses, social services are called to attend - all reports have been filed - we had a "final hearing " back in 2013 - i have been before the judge to obtain the prohibitive steps order then 4 days later for a directions order when he ordered statements - section 7 report and now this one tomorrow to I assume finalise matters - it does not say Final Hearing on the last order made.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi there
I need a reply to this by 9am this morning as after this I will be in Court anyway so please do not respond if it is later than this as I do not want to pay for it if it is too late - thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
There is of course a very good chance that your ex will indeed file the statements this morning - as you are aware it is sadly not unusual.
Your first step should be to ask for the Judge/magistrates to be informed that you have received it late and to ask for a three hour adjournment to allow you time to read the statement carefully and consider whether it raises any issues that you cannot deal with because of the late service.
Then take that time.
Find an empty consulting room and sit down with the statement and make notes.
Do NOT rush it - despite any pressure that is brought upon you. The delay is theirs and not yours.
When you are clear that you fully understand the contents THEN decide - does it change anything. If the answer is yes then go before the court and point out what more you could have done if you had received it on time
If the answer is no (and I suspect once you read around all the waffle it will be no) say you are ready to carry on.
Of course the other possibility is that she is going to finally concede - but do not hold your breath.
Good luck
Ask if you need more - i will be online on and off this morning and will try and assist if I can
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But why when they have had 8 weeks to file this would solicitors be late in filing ?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Incompetence and game playing!