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Thanks for all of your help and advice so far.

I am waiting for a date on the FDR heading and I was wondering what other peoples experiences of it was?

I’m represented and I understand that this is a hearing to try and negotiate and a judge would give his opinion on what he would decide but not enforce it.

Will I have to speak or will my barrister speak for me? What kind of questions will I be asked and is it a stressful process?

I’m really not sure what to expect.

Thank you
Normally not much happens at a directions hearing.if your ex is making up loads of allegations ,its highly likely you will be returning 5 or 6 weeks later for a contested final hearing. If allegations are really bad could be a find a fact hearing. Your barrister will do most of the talking and will see if other side offer Interim contact. Are you getting any contact at moment. All I can say is to be child focused at hearing and calm and best not to respond to any allegations or raise any against ex . You just want go see your kids and be a dad. It's easier then to avoid a find a fact hearing especially if there is no evidence to back up what your ex is saying and you are not raising any concerns
Hi Warwickshire

I’m sorry if I’ve posted this in the wrong forum.

It is a FDR for finances.

Thank you
I dont know much about financial. They are stressful and expensive if contested by ex partner. Can take a few hearings to resolve
For financial FDR court will expect that both the parties come up with their own

a) Questionnaire
b) Statement of issues
c) Chronology
d) Form H ( as you are represented)

Of all the above ones Questionnaire is the important one that contains what you are seeking court to seek orders which you would have come up with based on Form E exchange.
Court will go thru each of the questions from questionnaire and say whether that is relevant to the case or not...
Thanks guys

Directions were agreed so all of the above has been done without having to attend the first appointment.

It will be the second hearing I will be attending, which I believe is the negotiation one.

Had my FDR a couple of weeks ago.

I had a sit down with my barrister for an hour before the actual hearing in front of the judge. This was the first time that I met her but we went through everything and discussed my latest without prejudice offer.

We then went in to sit before the judge where my barrister first went through everything I told her. Then my ex-wife's barrister did the same. I made a few notes in response to my ex-wife's barrister's comments which I highlighted to my barrister and she responded. The barristers tend to do all the speaking. The judge then reminded everyone that if an agreement is not come to at the end of this hearing there would be a significant increase in costs to both parties. After only 20-30 minutes of hearing the case he gave what he thought would be his direction.

We then went back out to our separate rooms with our barristers'. I declined the offer outright that the judge suggested. He completely ignored (I would go as far to say as misunderstood) the current situation of my business and my lack of mortgage capacity to even purchase a property (lots of equity in the pot). Even my barrister was surprised at his suggested direction. There was some negotiation between my barrister and my ex-wife's barrister. However, my ex-wife refused to budge from the suggested direction by the barrister. So we're heading to a full hearing.

I was surprised (almost stunned) at the lack of detail that the judge went into and after speaking to my barrister it feels as though judges already have a suggested direction in the back of their mind, with some being wife biased and others being husband biased. Now, in hindsight, it feels like an absolute lottery to me!

My barrister said that she could almost predict which way most decisions would go based on which judge you get. However, the judge we sat before was new and she'd only sat before him once previously. At the final hearing we're not allowed to sit before this same judge.

Is it stressful, hard to describe really as you're not on the stand being quizzed by the other barrister, which I would imagine being stressful (although not actually been through it). You don't really do a lot apart from have a chat and make decisions with your barrister. I find more difficult to understand that someone else can make a decision that will affect my future for the rest of my life. I've worked hard for 20 years to build up a business and provide for my family. Due to a number of factors the business is really struggling at the moment (and has been for the last 18 months). There is a very real possibility that the business could cease trading in the next 6 months, although it could also turn around, I just do not know what the outcome could be at the moment. I would describe everything that is going on at the moment is more stressful than the actual day.
Really helpful thank you
Hello. I had an FDR the best part of a year ago and managed to get a negotiated agreement from it. You won't be expected to speak in the hearing if you are represented.

As mentioned, you will probably be expected to go an hour earlier and meet your barrister, and he (or she) will get a feeling for what the other party is expecting and what the chances are of getting something out of the day.

Ahead of the hearing I would expect you will be expected (along with an updated Form E)  to provide what you consider to be suitable accommodation. You will also do (with your barrister) a position statement and an expected budget on a monthly basis.

FDR judges are extremely busy and the previous poster is correct that they might not have spent as long as they should have evaluating the case. That said, they will give their opinion on what they would award if they were adjudicating, and then they will send you out to negotiate. It isn't particularly stressful on the day, at least I didn't find it so. The judge didn't really ask any questions of note and had already apparently reached some kind of idea before we even walked in.

I would suggest that you do what you can to avoid a final hearing, as they are much more expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Of course, it might not be possible to avoid if you cannot reach an agreement.
Thanks so much

I really want to avoid a final hearing and also the FDR but the ex is determined to frustrate the process as much as she can.

Been trying to sort the finances since March 2018. Spent thousands already and I still don’t have a full disclosure from her.

I’m at my wits end and having to borrow money for solicitors and courts.

She was ignoring all communications and attempts to sort it out, cancelled mediation, wouldn’t reply to solicitors. I was advised to apply to court so a timeline would be stuck to but it doesn’t seem to be working.

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