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SASH_Law
SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4469
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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I am engaged in proceedings for a family visitation order

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I am engaged in proceedings for a family visitation order and a NMO order against my estranged wife (separated 4 years). I want to get an idea of costs for engaging a solicitor with both these cases
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Ihave attended a number of proceedings on the family order and two proceedings on the NMO - the respondent had not updated thier address with the court and repeatedly fails to arrive for any hearings - I'm waiting on rescheduled hearings for both cases
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Chelmsford for the Family, Basildon for the NMO - both in Esses Essex
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: other party is extremely difficult, long history of all sorts of abuse (leaving me to pay debts they ran up, physical verbal abuse, extreme difficulty when organising childrens visits (despite an order being in place)

Hi, I’m Lea and I will be assisting you with your query today.

I am very sorry to hear about your dilemma, but will do my best to provide you with advice and guidance on what to do next. Do you mean a child arrangements order? Is the mother not engaging with the proceedings at all? Who has applied for the NMO? What has the court ordered so far?

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Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Child Arrangements Order. THe mother does engage but it's been a difficult process each time. The first hearing, which was in person, she arrived over an hour late claiming a flat tyre. Each subsequent hearing has been a no show or late, one hearing took three attempts over the course of day to get her to show up. I applied for the NMO on the advice of the police, they put me in touch with the NCDV? who helped me serve papers etc. In the first NMO hearing, the respondent didn't show, the judge granted the NMO but then the respondents solicitor got that overturned until a hearing could take place. The solicitor called me before the hearing and offered some mutual agreement where both parties agreed to be bound under conditions by the NMO. I refused as I was comfortable giving that away when I've done no wrong. For the child arrangements, the court ordered each wednesday overnight, every other weekend and every other half term.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
sorry, my first area is to understand what you can do and what the overall cost may be

This is a Q&A site, so we can give general guidance. You can instruct a solicitor to take on your case, which will cost anywhere between £150-£500 per hour plus VAT per hour, more for some solicitors. I cannot say how much overall your case will cost you as it seems the other party uses a lot of delaying tactics which will inevitably rack up the costs, probably quite substantially.

Given that you have been subjected to abuse, you may be eligible for legal aid - see here www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

You can find a solicitor here: solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk

You shouldn't accept an undertaking, as you clearly deduced, since it was not you that was abusive.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
thank you - could I claim any costs back from the childrens mother?

You can try to claim your costs but they are very rarely awarded in private family law matters. The judge would decide.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
would that be true of the NMO too?

Yes, usually. But put a costs schedule in if you wish and ask for your costs - the judge will decide.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
ok, is that something a solicitor would do? if I had one!
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Also, the childrens mother recently revealed that she had a water bill, in my name, which has been sent to her address. She accused me of being responsible. I have no idea how ithat happened but Icalled the water company and they told me that had got my name from an 'empty house search' and that for my name to appear there something must have been sent to that address in my name. I have no idea about any of this until the mother mentioned it. I'm worried fraud has been committed. I have reported this to the court as an update to the NMO proceedings. Should I inform anyone else?

Yes, a solicitor will do it if you have one. You won't really have many costs if you don't have a solicitor anyway. Just the court fees, and any costs you had preparing paperwork etc.

The issue with the water company has nothing to do with an NMO. Sort it out with the company.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
with the water bill, my concern is that as I have never lived at that address and the childrens mother has lived there for less than a year, the childrens mother has found a way to associate me with that address which could leave me vulnerable further issues

No it doesn't. Just inform the water company that you don't live there and never have.

SASH_Law and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
ok thank you

Incidentally, whilst you remain married, you remain financially associated so that may explain the link. Divorce and a clean break order will resolve any future linking.

You're welcome.

All the best.