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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Am a Litigant in Person (LiP) currently going through a

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am a Litigant in Person (LiP) currently going through a Private Family Law Case.I have a final hearing coming up that is for a full day. At the previous hearing my ex-partner's barrister attempted to convince the magistrates that two days would be necessary. The Magistrates refused and said it would be a single day hearing. The court has ordered statements from both myself and my ex-partner. My ex-partner's statement contains statements from two of her friends and her parents*.Notably, one of my ex-partner's friends statements notes that she is a social worker. I do not think it is appropriate for a friend of one of the parties to be citing this as though she can act as an expert witness.My ex-partner's solicitor tells me that if I wish to challenge these statements this will require the attendance and cross-examination at Court of these four people and that this in turn will mean it needs to be a two-day hearing.**I am wondering can I ask the court to disallow these statements of any of the following grounds;(a) These are friends and family members of one of the parties and so their statements cannot be seen as objective.
(b) This is an enormous amount (at least 30 pages) of extra paper work to go through and will simply add further delay.
(c) This is an attempt to make me financially unable to effectively challenge my ex-partner in court.
(d) The friend in particular is attempting to portray herself as an expert witness in a case in which she is personally biased.*These are very long, one of the mother's statements alone (she has submitted two) is over twenty pages.**As an aside, I believe this is likely an attempt to either (a) make me not challenge their statements or instead (b) face the financial difficulty of paying for lay (McKenzie Friend) or legal (Barrister) assistance for two days instead of one. My ex-partner is wealthy and I am not, so she has always pushed for court proceedings to be as long as possible. Particularly as I intend to hire a Direct Access Barrister for this hearing, it being two days instead of one is an issue for me.Many thanks for your help

Hi, thank you for your question. From your information the court has not directed for them to file any statements or evidence and you would be within your rights to raise this with the court as they are not directed to attend the hearings to gice evidence. Therefore thr filed evidence should only relate to you and the other party, and any other directed evidence.

Initially I would suggest that you inform the other party/their representatives of this issue and request that it be removed as you object to it. If they do not agree I would suggest you make an application to court under form D11 and a £155 court fee for further directions.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. I have paid for the "Additional Service Offer" to gain help some related questions I have;Is the D11 right for me? It seems to relate to divorce proceedings. My ex-partner and I were never married, this case is purely over my application for a Child Arrangements Order.
The form requests that I attach a draft order. As an LiP I don't know really know how to do this and would probably get it wrong. Is that a must do for the D11?
I see the form says that the Judge may make a decision on paper. Then the other can object to this and obtain a hearing. If they do and the judge agrees with their objection at this hearing, can I be/is it likely I will be sued for costs?Many thanks.

Thank you for the further information, in that case it should be under Form C2, however most judges are lenient to LIPs and have regularly dealt with issues raised in correspondence to the court even if there is no formal application in place. Just make sure to outline that you are not legally represented.

Given that it appears they are filing evidence without court directions, your objection is reasonable and it would be hard for them to argue for costs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Excellent thank you very much. One more question I forgot to ask. In filling out the respondent's details of the C2, should I put my ex-partner's details or her solicitors?

If she is represented and they can accept service (ie. they are in court record on this matter), then you put her name, and address and contact as her solicitors