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Final hearing for CAO

(8 Posts)
Confused26 Wed 17-Dec-14 19:24:40

Hi, just after some advice. We have a final hearing coming up for a child arrangements order. This is about who the children should live with and what level of contact they should have with the other party.

It seems fairly straightforward in that one party is not being cooperate, truthful, following court orders, more police reports between court dates etc. and the other party has full children's services backing.

My question is about the length of time the hearing has been scheduled for. It's just for one hour. Is this unusual for a final hearing? Even in a straightforward (ish) case? Everything I've read says final hearings are usually a half day or a full day.

Any recommendations made by the magistrates and by the CAFCASS officer are likely to not be accepted by the other party, if that makes any difference?

Thanks smile

Greengrow Wed 17-Dec-14 20:46:05

I don't have experience in that area but in other areas of law you often have 1 and 3 day hearings and even 10 days so for something as important as a child an hour sounds very very short. I suppose that might be all people can afford and if the case is really very one sided and clear as to who will win perhaps they won't need longer.

NanaNina Thu 18-Dec-14 00:50:58

Final hearings in the Family Proceedings Court in private law do not take anywhere near the time taken in public law cases. Is the CAFCASS report recommending the children have their permanent home with you and contact for the other parent?

You mention "recommendations made by Magistrates" but they don't make recommendations and these cases are heard in the Family Courts by a Judge, who makes the decision. Do you have legal representation?

dunfightin Thu 18-Dec-14 10:47:14

Main aim is to get an order that is in the DCs best interests and is workable for all concerned.
It will take as long as it takes and judge/cafcass will be juggling a variety of cases as well as yours.
Turn up half an hour beforehand and be prepared to spend all morning/day if necessary.

If you don't get it all sorted, then they will make interim order and get you back or do an order and have you back later to see how it is progressing.
Cafcass report is key and the judge will have to have very compelling reasons not to follow their recommendations. Whatever you want/propose/demand keep the DCs at the forefront and use what evidence you have from people like SS and police - judges are not interested in a he said/she said or did argument. They want things to move forward and keep you out of court in the future

PeruvianFoodLover Thu 18-Dec-14 17:36:17

You mention "recommendations made by Magistrates" but they don't make recommendations and these cases are heard in the Family Courts by a Judge, who makes the decision. Do you have legal representation?

In my experience, it depends what part of the country you are in - in some courts, family law hearings are heard by specially trained magistrates, not judges.

Confused26 Thu 18-Dec-14 18:29:19

Thanks for the advice.

NanaNina - yes the report states they should live with us and have supervised contact with the other party. It also states SS would seek a court order to have the children removed if they resided with the other party.
We do have legal representation but they are proving very hard to get hold of! Especially now we're drawing near to Christmas.

Thanks Dunfightin. We've always kept things about the children's interests and we have plenty of third party evidence to support anything we say.

As for the magistrates making recommendations, I'm sure they changed slightly bits they felt were necessary on the interim orders, so maybe it's rulings rather than recommendations? I'm getting a bit lost in all of this!

Collaborate Thu 18-Dec-14 22:52:11

It's listed for an hour as a final hearing as presumably it's the first hearing since the report, and there might possibly be a final order (by agreement). It won't be a contested final hearing if only an hour has been allowed.

Confused26 Fri 19-Dec-14 06:51:20

Collaborate - no, there have been hearings since the section 7 report was filed. Both of which were dispute resolution hearings. However, the other party is not accepting any of the recommendations put forward. So it is known to be contested.

This is what is confusing me regarding the scheduled time of one hour. Is seems very short compared to the full day hearing I was expecting.

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