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C100 / Position Statement
#1
Hi All

After some advice / a clarification.

Have a FHDRA hearing coming up after sending in a C100. Already have a Court Order in place but looking to change. Have just looked over the paperwork and it says a position statement was needed and should have been sent 14 days prior to both court and other party. I haven't done this - an oversight on my part although my McKenzie Friend never mentioned one would be needed (not that I'm blaming them). I also haven't received anything from the other side.

Is this a crucial item? Will this go against me? Should I now draft one to take? Is it normal not to receive one from the other side?

I would have thought my C100 effectively says what my position is, so what's the situation with regards to one being needed? After waiting for court to come round, I now have a sinking feeling that this may put me on the back foot. Any thoughts are welcome.
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#2
(04-01-2019, 02:42 PM)analoguehead Wrote: Hi All

After some advice / a clarification.

Have a FHDRA hearing coming up after sending in a C100. Already have a Court Order in place but looking to change. Have just looked over the paperwork and it says a position statement was needed and should have been sent 14 days prior to both court and other party. I haven't done this - an oversight on my part although my McKenzie Friend never mentioned one would be needed (not that I'm blaming them). I also haven't received anything from the other side.

Is this a crucial item? Will this go against me? Should I now draft one to take? Is it normal not to receive one from the other side?

I would have thought my C100 effectively says what my position is, so what's the situation with regards to one being needed? After waiting for court to come round, I now have a sinking feeling that this may put me on the back foot. Any thoughts are welcome.

I don't believe you will be criticized for not submitting 14 days prior especially if you are LIP and also especially this is just directions hearing. But i do emphasize having a good position statement (clear and concise) will help your case, even if it might be expanding on what you have already stated in C100. I have been late in the past but as I live close by, I normally use the court's drop box with a clear 'URGENT' title and case reference number etc at the minimum of 4 days prior to the hearing. 

It is expected that both parties exchange the position statements in advance, but again if both are self-representing courts take a somewhat lenient approach to this which means you can exchange on the day of court hearing (pre-hearing etc). Also lot of depends on your case as well whether CAFCASS invovled etc.
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#3
A position statement allows you to give more detail than you do in a C100. It is basically your opportunity to put forward a sound proposal and all your reasons for it. It also allows the court to get a handle on the whole situation - because they see so many cases and don't know anything about you. So you could have a brief initial paragraph which sums it all up - then a paragraph briefly of history - eg separated x years,never married, that during the relationship you shared the care fully with the ex (if that is the case) taking in turns to get up during feeding and toilet training and taking them to activities at week-ends. That there was agreement that you'd have 50/50 on separation - and this was the case for a year, except Mrs Ex would change dates regularly and at short notice so the children never knew when they would be at your home. Mrs Ex then stopped the children coming and your applied for Child arrangements order (or whatever the history is).

Then a bit about the current situation - eg you wished to resolve matters at mediation but no agreement was reached. You currently have no contact with your children and are worried about the uncertainty and stress for them. Prior to contact being stopped you regularly took x child to swimming lessons at the week-ends and they went to your parents for lunch with you some Sundays, so they are currently not seeing any of their family or grandparents, on your side.

A bit about your job and how you can manage the care eg - I am self employed and have flexible working hours so will have no problem taking the children to and from school 2 or 3 days a week or caring for them. That you rent a 2 bedroom house and that the children have/had an established home with you with their own bedroom with bunk beds, and their clothes, toys and personal possessions, which currently they can't see or enjoy.

Then a final bit that relates back to the opening bit - about what you would like to see for the care of your children for their ongoing certainty, stability and regular time with both parents. Maybe more about what you've asked for in your application and a line saying you believe shared care "lives with both parents" will establish stability for the children and enable Mrs Ex to accept your role as an equally involved parent.


The above is just an example as I don't know your circumstances.

Sometimes they ask for a parenting plan for first hearing - which is another way of you showing how you think things should be and away of showing you're sensible and child focused. Maybe they are asking for a position statement instead of this.

Finally you need to know what is in the Cafcass letter before you can finalise the position statement - and can comment on whether you agree with it (ideally!) or if there is something you feel needs mentioning about the outcome of it - to argue your case a bit. Although usually the court will go along with what Cafcass have recommended. But if there is anything you forgot to say or you feel has been missed, this is your opportunity.

It isn't as formal as a full statement for a final hearing. But you do type it in double line spacing and number the paragraphs. No more than 2 sheets of A4 really. At the top - Position statement of Your Name (Father) and the Case number.

Then the numbered paragraphs.

When is the hearing date? Have you had the Cafcass letter back yet? Don't worry - it's fine to submit it a couple of days before the hearing. The other side are probably leaving it till the last minute as they won't want you reading theirs before they see yours! You could actually email her solicitor and request a date and time for exchanging position statements and submitting them to court and say you wish them exchanged by email at exactly the same time. Then just before the time agreed, on the day agreed, phone them and ask if they are ready to email theirs at 10am (or whatever) and you will email yours to them and the court at the same time.

And - check the court papers carefully - is there anything else you need to provide for the hearing that they have asked for?
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#4
Thanks for the replies and putting my mind at rest. Think I'll be ok (if needed) to even submit on the day but have been advised that what my C100 contains, combined with the CAFCASS report, pretty much covers things (along with many of the points raised in the replies above). But think I'll type something up just in case – better safe than sorry plus better to repeat/expand rather than nothing at all. And no, nothing else needed.
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