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Aaron D
Aaron D, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 442
Experience:  LLB, BPTC
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I received a letter from my ex partners solicitor two weeks

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Hi. I received a letter from my ex partners solicitor two weeks ago regarding talk about setting up arrangements between us for our son. Meanwhile I have now also received a letter on Saturday just gone with a court date and form to fill in to go with this as it seems he has then also applied to the court for an order. I received this letter the day after I sent reply to the solicitor (solicitor signed for delivery of the letter on Friday) in reply to the arrangements, mostly in agreement. The letter from the court has the correct name and start of address but has the wrong postcode throughout the documents and none of the dates seem to line up, when they were issued etc... I have also not yet received a reply from the solicitor about my reply. I don't know where I stand at all, please could you advise what I should do? Thank you.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Essex.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: He applied about mediation, I agreed to mediation. Mediation letter was received but with no next step clarification so he then said he was applying to court because I didn't "give an answer" - I did not get given any information or contact. He then said we will do an arrangements letter instead, I have agreed to everything he has asked for but have asked for some changes on timings to suit our son getting up for school the next day.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I think that all covers it.

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is***** am a barrister and will assist you with this issue today.

Please be aware that this is an e-mail service rather than a live chat. Sometimes there will be some delay between responses but I will try to reply as soon as possible.

Try not to worry, the fact there is some agreement as to the way forward is a positive. You should attend the hearing as directed and you can discuss the proposed agreement with the solicitor and then with the Magistrates/ Judge. It's possible that the court will be willing to make your agreement into a court order. Court isn't as scary as it sounds, most family court matters resolve by agreement.

If you don't agree to the proposed order then tell them and they will either seek to negotiate with you or the court will order some further investigations.

In terms of mediation, whist it is always helpful, apart from an initial information assessment that he will have had to attend it is totally optional. If he didn't want to pursue it then there's not a lot you can do.

I hope this helps, if you can please accept my answer and rate me 5 stars (in the top right of your screen) then Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

I will remain available for any follow-up questions.

Aaron D and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thank you for your reply and advice.
Should I proceed with filling in the required forms and returning them to the courts? Should I do this myself or should I get a solicitor as I don't currently have one, and involve them in this?
I was hoping there would be an agreement to my revised proposal without involving the courts. I feel this court letter coming through has just confused matters as there has not been a refusal or acceptance from the solicitor. Would it be wise for me to contact them to get some clarity before sending anything to the courts?

If you feel comfortable filling in the form and attending at court yourself it's fairly manageable. You only really need a solicitor if the matter is contentious.

I can imagine it is frustrating that there is a court hearing when there is some level of agreement however many parents want agreements to be legally binding for comfort/ security that the terms will be adhered to. The only way to achieve a legally binding agreement is for there to be some court involvement.

You can get something out of it too as the order also gives you security. If the plan is that the child mainly lives with you and spends time with the father, ask that you have a "live with" order. This confirms that the child lives with you.