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court application for contact order

(8 Posts)
smiler01 Mon 15-Aug-11 13:28:13

Hi

Was wondering if anyone has some experience with the first initial stages of applying to court for a contact order.

My partner's solicitor is today preparing the application for contact order, i was just wondering basically what the next step is? once the court receives the application do they notify his ex or literally do they only write to her once a date is set, how much notice do they usually give in informing you of a court date?
Just wondered if she gets told as we apply, maybe our solicitor informs hers..

What happens at the first hearing?

Thanks very much for any info you have

STIDW Mon 15-Aug-11 15:41:16

When the court receives the application a date is set for a hearing and some forms are sent back to the applicant (or their solicitor if they are represented) and it is then up to the applicant, or their solicitor on their behalf, to serve the papers. A first appoint is usually set 6-8 weeks after the court receives the application.

Before going in front of the judge it is usual to meet with CAFCASS to see if any agreement can be reached. If not, the judge will decide what he/she requires in the form of reports to assist with making a decision and sets a timetable for future hearings.

jekyllnothyde Mon 15-Aug-11 18:10:16

Am guessing you have tried mediation? If there is any reason for Cafcass to get involved it can take a very long time and be stressful for everyone. And you may not get the result that anyone wants. Me and ex have started mediation, after having almost gone to court, and so far it's going ok, at times even friendly and definitely constructive. We haven't sorted everything my any means -two sessions, and I think it will be two more - but think it will keep us out of court, for which I'm very grateful.

Tyr Mon 15-Aug-11 22:44:12

Assuming you are in England or Wales, there is (as of April 6 this year) a pre-application protocol in place. You have to attend a mediation assessment meeting before going to court.
You need to check with your solicitor about that.
If you go to court,the first hearing is a Directions or Conciliation hearing. The judge will see if there is any agreement (usually with the assistance of a CAFCASS officer) and which issues are contested and need to proceed to a hearing. If there is no contact at present, make sure your solicitor has applied for interim contact.

smiler01 Tue 16-Aug-11 09:42:12

Many Thanks for your replies!!

I had forgotten about the interim order!!
Is there an additional cost to apply for an interim order or is it requested when applying for the main contact order? if there is a seperate cost could you advise what it is?

Also, what sort of reasons do cafcass need to get involved?? there isnt any legitamate reasons for no contact except for a bitter ex who said when they split up if u leave me ur leaving the kids, if u dont love me you dont love the kids and ill do everything i can to stop you seeing them she literally hasnt agreed to anything via solicitors even going as far as to make up lies about drug abuse etc (my dp had a drug test via his gp as soon as her solicitor accused him of it, totally untrue and came back all clear) i would imagine she will say as many untrue things as possible at the first court hearing and am assuming this will mean cafcass will be involved? an anyone tell me what happens if she does say a lot of lies???

Thanks again

Collaborate Tue 16-Aug-11 11:00:58

Cafcass don't get involved in every case - only those where the court identifies that there are real welfare issues at stake.

Your solicitor is unlikely to be acting on a fixed fee. An interim contact hearing may last half a day (4 hours incl waiting etc) and require a couple of hours preparation (including drafting a statement) and a further meeting with your partner (say an hour) not to mention the letters and telephone calls. Multiply that by their hourly rate and you get close to the mark.

Drug testing by a G tends to be urine testing. Urine runs clear after a few days. The court will prefer hair strand analysis, that costs upwards from £350 depending on how many substances are being tested for.

Collaborate Tue 16-Aug-11 11:01:21

That's GP, not G.

smiler01 Tue 16-Aug-11 11:30:21

Hiya Thanks for your reply!

It was a blood test that he had done via his gp, not sure if that is any slightly better?

If the courts decided that my dp needed to be tested by hair strands, that despite the blood test being normal as he isnt a drug user. would he have to pay for this? seems totally crazy that my partner could end up having to pay out a hell of a lot of money just because his ex is lying to prevent contact.

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