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Final Hearing - Witness Statement

(4 Posts)
JMKid Mon 18-Jul-16 06:35:02

No longer have a solicitor due to costs as I can't afford one anymore. Have to do all the paperwork myself for the final hearing which is final. But in terms of the witness statements, are there rules for how long/detailed etc? Any do/don't to writing them? Thanks.

maybelemonade Mon 18-Jul-16 20:18:28

Hi. Witness statements need to be short and to the point - in my experience (been through legal ordeal so hindsight has informed my opinion). The person needs to state who they are in relation to you, what incident / issue they witnessed with times and dates and their independent opinion of them. They also need to sign them otherwise not deemed to be admissible (I had emails from friends - cos we live in modern era, and I had to go back to them to ask for signed copies).
On a note - the judge has to agree to allow them in and apparently they / the other side can refuse. Don't know full grounds as I'm not legally trained - as I said only my experience.
The statements need to be with your papers.

Re getting them from the witness, I merely sent an email asking for a clean email (letter) with their thoughts on the issue you know they witnessed. I didn't - and don't think it's right to influence them in any way.

Organise a friend (who is good at looking at papers and is organised and is able to listen - a tall order as not only do you have to crudely evaluate your friends, their time constraints mean that maybe best one(s) are not available.

Be organised. Be brave. Be calm.

Good luck.

PinotPony Thu 21-Jul-16 19:17:28

The format must comply with Practice Direction 32 here-
https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part32/pd_part32#19.1
All the info you need to run your own litigation is contained in the Civil Procedure Rules so worth having a good read.

traviata Fri 22-Jul-16 11:00:41

Is this for a final financial hearing on divorce?

If so, look at section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.
Follow it section by section, and present your witness statement in numbered paragraphs to match. You can start with a general paragraph or two about the marriage, dates, children, who lives where.

If it is a final hearing for a child arrangements order, do the same thing with reference to section 1 of the Children Act 1989.

In every case, type it out, number the paragraphs, start it with the date and your name and address (unless confidential) and end it with a statement of truth.

Remember - unless you need to set out in detail who said what (eg allegations of threats), try to avoid he said /she said stuff.
If you are relying on texts/emails, limit it to a few examples and print them out and attach them to the back of the statement.

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