Home > Legal > How to Write Your Statement for Court

How to Write Your Statement for Court

By: Elizabeth Mugan BA/BSc, PGDipLaw, BVC, CIArb - Updated: 5 Dec 2016 |
 
Family Court Statement Wife Ex-partner

If you are going to the Family Court to seek child contact or residence, you may have been directed as to a date when your statement must be sent to all parties.

Rules Governing Court Statements

Statements for the Family Court are governed by the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, which state particular rules that should be followed;

  • The statement must be signed, dated and contain a declaration that you believe the statement is true and recognise it may be placed before the court.
  • On the top left-hand side of your statement, detail the court in capital letters, e.g. IN THE LONDON FAMILY COURT and the case number on the top right-hand side.
  • You should include the names of the parties; ‘Between (name of Applicant) with ‘Petitioner’ at the right-hand side, and then underneath; ‘And’, followed by the name of the Respondent and ‘Respondent’ at the right-hand side.
  • In the centre, you should include the ‘title’. If you are the Applicant, the title would be ‘Petitioner’s Statement on Child Residence/Contact’ (as appropriate) or vice versa if you are responding to the mother’s petition.

Introduction

Begin with the reason you are making this statement, i.e. I am making this statement in response to my wife's/ partner's petition or; this statement reflects the concerns I have for my child’s future should my wife/partner obtain a divorce.

You should summarise what you wish the court to order, and why you believe they should grant the order. For example:

  • Times of the week you feel your child should spend with each parent, e.g. your days off are Monday to Wednesday, when their mother is working.
  • That your children are mature enough to decide/influence the decision themselves.
  • Positive attributes that both parents can offer.
  • Benefits of having Shared Care of both the mother and father.
  • Give good reason as to why an order should be granted and is in your child’s best interests.

Your Children

Give the court some insight into each child individually, including:

  • Your children’s age and maturity level, relevant if you believe they can decide who they wish to live with for themselves.
  • Detail your relationship with your children previously compared with your relationship now.
  • How the break up has affected them, for example, if you have always had a good relationship with them and without an order in place meetings will be difficult.
  • How they will be affected without an order, if you believe they would be unhappy and why.
  • Why you believe Contact/ Residency with you will benefit them.
  • Anything in support of your case. If, for example, in a separate meeting with a Welfare Officer, your child may have stated repeatedly that they wished to live with you.

You should air any concerns that you have. Examples may be:

  • Unacceptable Behaviour by your wife - this has to sensible, true and unemotional.
  • You are worried that without the order you will not be able to maintain regular contact.
  • Perhaps your wife plans on moving away due to work, which would affect your child’s stability with schooling, family and friend relationships etc.

Conclude

Conclude with why you should have residency/contact with your children. Perhaps you are able to take the children to and from school. Your children may get on well with a new partner or have relatives nearby who are more than willing to help out. You must persuade the court that you only have the children's best interests at heart.

Untruthful Statements

The best way to combat untruthfulness is through cross-examination, where you ask questions about the statement to test what has been said. When skilfully done, it can show untruthfulness, which will obviously look unfavourable. Here are some questions to ask:
  • Ask if your ex-partner is happy with their statement. If they say something wrong and try to go back on their word, it becomes clear to the judge that they are being untruthful.
  • If you disagree with something, ask to see evidence.
  • If something particularly untrue is in a statement and you have evidence to prove the contrary, then ask to give your version in court.
  • Box them in with questions, for example, if your child has mentioned a strange man in the house and you know your wife is lying and saying she has been alone, you can ask them the question directly. She now becomes ‘trapped’ as she either admits to lying or is saying that your child is lying.

Evidence is key to making your case stand in court, so get as many statements as possible from supportive people.

Finding a Solicitor

Search for a reputable family department or expert solicitor. Ask people if they can recommend a solicitor as you need to be happy with their work. Some firms offer free consultations where you can go and discuss your case. Go to a few different firms to see which one you prefer.

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[Add a Comment]
Danielboii2k17 - Your Question:
Hi recently I broke up with my ex we was together for 3 years we have got a 2 year old daughter together she have stopped my contact with my little girl for no reason I tryed everything been to mediation but she turned it down been so social worker as I have had alot of concerns with my ex and her family around ny daughter I have been to speak to a solicitor for advice now I have been to court to get help with my court forms now they are send off now waiting for the court date my ex have been having assessment done with her house like a house check and also on her and her family her dad and mum treats my ex like a baby and she is 24 now they keep speaking for her because she wount talk for her self recently I had a random phone call on a private number someone in her family send threats to me so had to get the police involved as im only concerned about my daughter nothing else I need help with a statement for court so I can show the judge everything I just dont know how or what to do can someone give me a bit of advice please would much appreciate it

Our Response:
Please see link: Using a McKenzie Friend in Court here. Apart from the advice in the article, McKenzie Friends can advise on any aspect of family law, and help in any way (but may cost and they are not always fully experienced), please see link here . The Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to help you further as they have family law advisers. I take it you are self-litigating, therefore I shall also put your query on our Separated Dads Facebook page, where our dads who have been through this before can help. Please refer to the Separated Dads Facebook page for your answers.
SeparatedDads - 6-Dec-16 @ 12:17 PM
Hi recently I broke up with my ex we was together for 3 years we have got a 2 year old daughter together she have stopped my contact with my little girl for no reason I tryed everything been to mediation but she turned it down been so social worker as I have had alot of concerns with my ex and her family around ny daughter I have been to speak to a solicitor for advice now I have been to court to get help with my court forms now they are send off now waiting for the court date my ex have been having assessment done with her house like a house check and also on her and her family her dad and mum treats my ex like a baby and she is 24 now they keep speaking for her because she wount talk for her self recently I had a random phone call on a private number someone in her family send threats to me so had to get the police involved as im only concerned about my daughter nothing else I need help with a statement for court so I can show the judge everything I just dont know how or what to do can someone give me a bit of advice please would much appreciate it
Danielboii2k17 - 5-Dec-16 @ 6:13 PM
hi my wife and I separated in December 2015 due to her starting a new relationship . Due to this relationship and her behaviour andneglect of the children I removed our daughter from her care in January 2016 and also my step daughters 15 and 12 years of age decided they wished to live with me . My ex- wife then assaulted me in front of the children and was arrested , social services have been involved and done a report on the family which the court has seen a copy of . All 3 girls remain in my care at this time . I need help as my ex-wife has taken me to court over residence of our 4 year daughter. We are both representing ourselves in court and have had the first hearing at which we were asked to write a statement to the court and cafcass telling them what we want the court to do about contact . can anyone suggest how I should lay this statement out and weather I should include the reason why I don't want my daughter to live with her mother , why I have taken my daughter into my care, the fact she is still being abusive towards me via text even though she has regular day time onlycontact with her children , or should I just stick to the issue ofcontact ? thanks
angus - 27-May-16 @ 2:29 AM
As the co-guardian and co-conservatorship, can i request financial records for the ward for the last 10 years and beyond? and if yes, how far back can we research records?
MsG - 7-Apr-16 @ 8:03 AM
pending family court case. Re My sons access, and unjust accusation, from his Sons Mummy.Re Concernes. After reading my Gradsons, Nurserry mangers statement.s. It hasbecome evedent, befor writting hers. She was shown my Statement. Hence, I feel it Unjust, her so called Swotting Up, in unfair defence befor writting hers... Surly this is an injustice of court. Please Help
Holly - 29-Mar-16 @ 2:47 PM
@t-jay - it's not lawful to marry your own sister!
Annie - 23-Sep-15 @ 11:46 AM
A elder brother got up and get married with his real blood sister. How can this issue can be sold?
t.jay - 22-Sep-15 @ 1:15 PM
Hi Iam looking for any advice on preparing a finale statement for court I have represented myself in court for the last couple of years but this really has me in a state I don't know how to set it out or what to include any advice would be more than welcome Thank you
Sos - 20-Jul-15 @ 1:23 PM
@HE - if you are not represented in court, it sounds like you may need to see or get some proper legal advice. Have you tried the CAB? As they may have a legal representative that can help you. In general terms I think, but can't be 100 per cent sure, in cases involving children in particular, courts are anxious to avoid the situation of costs awarded against one parent or another where a parent may feel "punished" by the other parent. This is due to the fact it might reduce co-operation between them and ultimately impinge against the welfare of the child/ren. Usually costs are only be made if the penalised party has been unreasonable in their conduct of the litigation.
JohnJ - 17-Feb-15 @ 12:28 PM
Hi - I have just gone through the first stage of obtaining a court order for a set visitation order for my daughter. There have ben a number of problems for years and I should have done these years ago. My question is - after the first hearing we are now going to Magistrates Court, as there were some issues we couldn't resolve. As past of this negotiations where left open (The mother has a solicitor I do not) I tried to negotiate with the solicitor but found this unbalanced and wanted it to continue to court. The solicitor is now saying that I will be responsible for her fees as I didn't agree the terms of the negotiations with her and have continued to court. How can this be? It is the mother’s choice to use a solicitor and to continue to use her through court? What I am asking is so little and I see no need for problems in court or why the mother even needs a solicitor (who is like a pit ball) I found the negotiations very unfair and wanted an equal hearing at court isn't this my right? Would appreciate some advice thank you I am unable to afford paying her fees
HE - 15-Feb-15 @ 9:58 AM
mywife want to end the mariagebut she want me out of our coucil house my kids want me to stay itold her she is got to moveoutwhatare mychances of keeping thehouse
sarsara - 26-Sep-14 @ 11:56 AM
hi, im desperately seeking advice, me and my ex split January of this year, since then contact arrangements for my 3 and 2 yr old little girls have been fairly good although a little strained at times, during this period I have noticed things that have gave me genuine cause for concern but no actual proof to take things any further or even voice my suspicions through fear of reprisals, this weekend I collected my children as agreed with nothing really out of the ordinary other than meeting her new partner which I felt had gone well, however the following evening I received a message via facebook from my exs brother voicing concerns over my ex partners parenting and these concerns included children being neglected for long periods of time particularly in mornings which I know to be true as this was always an issue when we was living together, there are also allegations of drug and alcohol abuse including taking my youngest to pub and returning home drunk, and the scariest of all these allegations was that my exs new partner is currently facing a rape charge in crown court next month and that he as been spending a lot of time with my children including being left alone with them, which as now been confirmed to me by social services although they did say that he would not be considered a risk to my children, obviously in light of these allegations and the facts concerning exs new partner I have refused to return the children home because of my fears for their well being, I have been advised that im within my rights to do so as I have parental responsibility but I am genuinely terrified that the courts are only going to see that I have refused to return children and not the reasons why!, apparently I do not qualify for legal aid even though I now cant work, I am seriously very scared for my children and the reprisals that will come of this if shes granted residency, I amconsidering giving her contact with children via Skype etc but really unsure as to whether this is a good idea,I am also really struggling with benefits system as ive always worked and have no idea where to start, if anybody as experienced anything similar or as any advice it would be really gratefully received as I have found social services to be a complete waste of space and some what rude with it!
tony1 - 6-Aug-13 @ 11:37 PM
Can a lawyer represent me in family court if I work outside the country?
TM - 30-Sep-12 @ 3:46 PM
Just like to say this site has been very helpful in answering all question that I have had in my mind on seperating from my partner and still retaining contact with my daughter who is my world, And I will be donating and will be wearing the wrist band with pride. Thanks againPeter
pete - 11-Mar-12 @ 9:20 PM
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