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CAO first hearing advice please..
#1
Hello all, can anyone give me advice on what on I am expected to say at the first hearing please? I submitted an application for a child arrangements order and will be going to court next Wednesday. I read a few threads about keeping things child focused on here (excellent read by the way). I am very apprehensive about who will be there and if I can take a friend for support or whether she can prevent them coming with me. She has a solicitor appointment I do not as I cannot afford one. When I completed the C 100 form I only stated a couple of things in the small box to say I wanted direct contact, time over school breaks, indirect contact and extra time over Christmas.

Am I expected to write a background story and history or simply put a list of outcomes I would prefer to see and rationale?

Thanks in advance for any replies Dave
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#2
(12-14-2018, 06:34 PM)Davids Wrote: Hello all, can anyone give me advice on what on I am expected to say at the first hearing please? I submitted an application for a child arrangements order and will be going to court next Wednesday. I read a few threads about keeping things child focused on here (excellent read by the way).  I am very apprehensive about who will be there and if I can take a friend for support or whether she can prevent them coming with me. She has a solicitor appointment I do not as I cannot afford one.  When I completed the C 100 form I only stated a couple of things in the small box to say I wanted direct contact, time over school breaks, indirect contact and extra time over Christmas.

Am I expected to write a background story and history or simply put a list of outcomes I would prefer to see and rationale?

Thanks in advance for any replies Dave

There is a provision in law for you to ask to take someone in, under what is called a McKenzie Friend.
This can be just someone you know, but also there are people who provide this service for a fee.

In recent times, more Judges have been refusing to all people in who are being paid a fee, except from a Solicitor who is the only person with the right to go in with you, and address the court on your behalf.

It might be that her Solicitor asks you before you go in if a deal can be done, but unless there is any question over Child Welfare/Protection, the min you will get if it goes to a Final Hearing is every other weekend and up to half school holidays, if that suits your avaliablity.

There is 13 weeks a year when schools are closed, so half is 6.5. If you only get 4 weeks off work, then ask for 1 week at Easter and Christmas and 2 weeks in the Summer, and another weekend also.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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#3
Thanks Mark
Any advice on what I should say that when I go in as that is my biggest concern...? Is there anything that they expect I should prepare?
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#4
(12-15-2018, 03:03 PM)Davids Wrote: Thanks Mark
Any advice on what I should say that when I go in as that is my biggest concern...? Is there  anything that they expect I should prepare?

Hi - as to what happens in the court It depends on what you have asked for in the C100 application form and the response from the mother. Also depends whether there are any allegations and whether cafcass are involved. below is what I understand possible outcomes subject to scenario. Keep in mind the first directions hearing is mostly about court understanding what the issues are and setting directions as to how the case will proceed. You might want to create a position statement if you reckon your case is straight forward.

1)fact finding if there is DV/DA allegations
2)Section 7 if there is children safeguarding issues
3) if none of the above, court will ask 2 parties to come to an agreement, sometimes with the help of parenting plan, or cafcass or in house mediatior or all of them and then call for next hearing.

More info here - 
https://childlawadvice.org.uk/informatio...ily-court/
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