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Court help - Solicitor to attend??

(8 Posts)
courthelpneeded Mon 18-Jul-11 17:08:29

Hi All

without boring you with to many details, my partner has been trying to see his children via solicitors but his ex is making things very very difficult, told many lies (which my partner has proved are lies), pushed for contact centre which my partner agreed to, now she has found a reason to not use the contact centre so basically we have given his ex/solicitor until thurs/fri to come back to us to agree contact centre again to start the contact otherwise we will be applying to court.

One thing to mention is his ex is very clever, she is very good at speaking and saying the right things to appear the victim and the concerned parent etc, very good at pulling the wool over peoples eyes. (one example she was on the phone to the local police screaming that my partner was hitting her, physically saying ouch his hitting me etc whilst my partner was indoors on the phone to them also saying im in doors no where near her etc, she got him arrested for assault, kept in a cell for 13 hours and finally they heard the recordings and released him, she also bragged to a mutual friend about doing this)

Anyway, our solicitor has sent an email regarding what will happen when applying to court stating this :
*Please don?t worry about the court application. I will put it together for you to look through and sign. We will then apply to the court for permission for you to apply.
Once the court set the hearing date, yourself and EX will attend court and speak to an officer of the court who specialises in dealing with children. You will explain your problem and that you want to see your children and she will negotiate between yourself and Tracy to find a solution for you to have contact with the children.
You will then hopefully get an order from the court setting out what you agree at court. If you cannot agree then you will go before the Judge who will give directions on the next stage. It is very informal at the first hearing and you will not need me to attend with you*

Can anyone tell me if this sounds right? Obviously she is a family solicitor and so clearly knows how these things work, but we have been extremely concerned by the way she has dealt with the ex?s solicitor very softly softly which yes at times works and works well but every letter has been a lie, his ex even lied about the solicitors themselves and she just didn?t seem to deal with the issues, we know my partners ex will not attend alone, my partner isnt the best at getting his points across and being clear so feels someone should be there to help with this

Is it a case that someone can be there if we are willing to pay or is it really not something done at the first hearing? She will use every lie possible to not come to an agreement

Any advice would be very much appreciated

cantfindamnnickname Mon 18-Jul-11 18:21:34

Well I suppose strictly speaking she doesnt need to be there but are you paying her?

I am a family Solicitor and only not gone to Court with if their legal aid certificates have not come through in time.

I think its time to get a new one - where are you based?

Kladdkaka Mon 18-Jul-11 20:09:33

I don't know from the legal side, but from the parent side my solicitor came to everything even ones that she wouldn't get paid for.

courthelpneeded Mon 18-Jul-11 20:15:27

yes we pay her, were based in essex....

We have seriously considered changing, is it easy to change? the only good thing is our solicitor does see his ex for what she is and the lies she tells but we really need someone tough and hard talking to get results, to fight her and not just agree and except everything they say, we agreed to it all to look better in court apparently but it just doesnt feel like she fully knows how to handle a woman like this!!!!

courthelpneeded Mon 18-Jul-11 20:19:35

thanks kladdkaka, this is how i feel it should be done i dont like the idea of having to go represent ourselves, or himself should i say we should have someone there who can word things correctly and show her for what she is, someone who has said she will do everything possible to not let him see the kids, he left her due to a terrible relationship so he left the kids?!?!!

STIDW Mon 18-Jul-11 20:23:53

If your partner is willing to pay someone can be there, but if resources are scarce it might be better to go to the first hearing without a solicitor. Lots of people represent themselves in private children cases because they can't afford a solicitor. There isn't a lot of law involved with most issues boiling down to common sense parenting.

Before going in front of a judge at the first hearing the parents meet with a court child welfare officer to see if any agreement can be reached. If it is the judge can turn the agreement into a court order. When no agreement can be reached the judge determines what further information he/she requires to assist in making a decision and sets a timetable for future hearings. No major court ruling will be made at a first hearing.

I'm not great fan of self representation but if the ex is going to be difficult and there aren't that many resources it makes sense to save money at the first hearing to ensure that representation can be afforded at later hearings when it really counts.

courthelpneeded Tue 19-Jul-11 09:27:27

Thanks for your reply! money is tight but we would pay to have someone there every step of the way if it is allowed.

what we dont want is for his ex to turn up with her solicitor as she gets legal aid so isnt costing her, and they use the lies they have previously used via letters which is all proven to be lies but if my partner is on his own he wont be able to express what he means, he usually gets all in a muddle, knows what he wants to say just doesnt say it to well!! by having a solicitor with him this would prevent that

I know nothing will be agreed at the first hearing as she is being extremely difficult but would be good to know we did everything possible to prevent a long costly court application!

cestlavielife Tue 19-Jul-11 14:05:15

well sometimes judges give more leeway to litigant in person - so will beaptient and listen to him if he speaks for himself.
it can work in his favour to self represent.

he can take a mckenzie friend (someone who can whisper advice to him but isnt a solicitor) -but some ar e "profressional" mckenzie friends and known to charge as much as a solicitor - does he have a good solid sensible friend?

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