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Representing myself at final hearing -moral support needed

(10 Posts)
Moanranger Wed 31-Aug-16 19:07:06

It has been 3 years, four Hearings, one today, and we now look like a Final Hearing (trial) in Jan. I don't have the money for legal representation, so I am representing myself. He is an obstinate git, so I figured it would go to the bitter end. He wants money from me, so I have no choice, must go forward.
I have a Makenzie friend but it looks like she won't be available for Final Hearing, so I am feeling far from confident at the moment. I just need some moral support, so anyone who has done it, and can give me a bit of cheering on, would be much appreciated. Feeling overwhelmed.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Wed 31-Aug-16 19:42:51

I represented myself but hired s barrister for the final hearing would that be an option for you? The admin stuff I could do but I knew that my ex would never agree to anything I suggested

Is your ex agreeable? Does he realise that either you agree terms or the judge decides or does he think he is going to say how it goes?

Moanranger Wed 31-Aug-16 20:42:23

Thanks This, I am thinking about doing this, but just need to find someone half way good and not to expensive. The Final Hearing is in London,
My ex is not remotely reasonably. His barrister dropped by our room a couple of times (long delay to see judge) to suggest if I paid ex a load of money this could all go away. His net worth calculations are a work of fantasy.
How much did a barrister cost?

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Wed 31-Aug-16 20:59:37

£3k for prepping for the final court hearing and acting in court on the day - but then the judge made my ex pay my legal bill anyway coz the barrister asked him too

MeMySonandl Wed 31-Aug-16 21:15:37

I have 2 friends who self represented, they both said that their ex's solicitors were less aggressive when questioning them when they were self representing, which also provided them with further oportunities to go in detail in certain questions and lead their own questioning according to the responses of their exh's solicitors.

You need to wait for your turn to talk but you can take as many notes while the other party presents their case and address the stuff directly. This is an opportunity you don't have when you are represented: at my final hearing I could pass notes to my barrister but we couldn't talk so a lot of important information that could have supported my case, was not even mentioned.

There is something someone suggested to me for the court hearings: never wear black, power suits or too much make up. Wear beige and look mumsy. I'm sure I am going to be flamed for this but as one of my feminist friends put it to me, at this time you need to look as if you need protection, you don't want to let them think that you would be alright whatever the outcome.

Moanranger Wed 31-Aug-16 22:18:16

ThanksMe -useful points. I have a two day hearing, so I suspect any half way decent barrister would cost £5-6k, which I do not have.
I understand your other points, too. The reason I thought I would be OK self-representing is I act as an expert witness mysel(planning), but I am not familiar with family law. My husband's barrister is a bit of a smarty pants, so worried I will get out-foxed. I think maybe I just need to recover from today -long & stressful - and get my confidence back. I also take your point about your barrister taking on info; the advantage of self-representing is no one knows the detail better than me! I just hope circumstances shift & my Makenzie friend becomes available.
Re image, completely with you, when I give evidence I stick a post it note on table in front of me that says "smile!"

SquirrelPaws Wed 31-Aug-16 22:32:15

Judges are very used to people representing themselves, and work hard to make sure that they get a fair hearing. Nobody knows it better than you - it's your life.
Go through his disclosure in meticulous detail and write down all the questions you want to ask him, in case you get stage fright.
The criteria the judge will apply are set out at section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Google it. After you've each given your evidence, the judge will ask you and your husband's barrister to sum up why you want what you want ("submissions.") If you can show how what you want fits into the criteria, you make it easier for the judge to see why you're right.
Be as reasonable as you can be. Judges warm to sensible, straightforward witnesses.

Moanranger Thu 01-Sep-16 07:12:29

Thanks, Squirrell great advice. I will review Section 25. Already planning to go thru my ex's submission, with all its lies & omissions in detail, but very important to focus the whole thing on the Act's criteria.

babybarrister Fri 02-Sep-16 10:07:41

I agree re a Direct Access barrister - I have been divorced and would not have liked to self-rep as a family barrister myself! FWIW none of my colleagues who have divorced have self repped!
If you cannot afford anyone, you can bring a friend as a McKenzie friend - at least they can take a note and act as moral support - they will have to provide info about themselves - have a google

Moanranger Mon 05-Sep-16 21:59:05

I have a Makenzie friend, who is very helpful. The cost is prohibitive for a barrister for 2 days.. So I have to self-rep. I have seen a huge amount of cross-examination, so I have an overall idea how it works: make your case!
I still think he may cave; I made a big deal about the amount of time it would take me to cross-examine him, and his Form E is full of lies, inconsistencies & omissions. His case is weak.

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