Court proceedings


Although one may view Court proceedings as a last resort, they are sometimes necessary.

One may need to consider this route when other alternative ways to resolve matters have been exhausted or if one party is unwilling to engage in a particular process.

Sometimes however, Court applications are required on an emergency basis such as for a Freezing order for financial assets or a Non-molestation order where domestic abuse is a factor.

Furthermore, it may be expeditious to begin proceedings if it seems that the other side are using the other forms to resolve matters as a delaying tactic.

Our specialist teams are well experienced in preparing and filing various applications with the court which include:

  • Applications to resolve Financial matters
  • Applications to obtain interim spousal maintenance
  • Applications to freeze family assets to avoid dissipation
  • Contempt of Court applications
  • Arrangements for children such as where children should live and who they should spend time with, including those cases with an international element; and
  • Applications for enforcement or variations of previous orders.

Advantages

  • Once an application is made, a timetable is set and the matter will be concluded
  • The Court will give interim guidance on matters in dispute
  • If there is non-compliance of directions, the Court can deal with that.

Disadvantages

  • Matters can take a significant amount of time in Court proceedings
  • They can be costly depending on which stage they are resolved.

What to expect

The Court process varies depending on what your family matter relates to.

Usually it will consist of three hearings:-

First Directions Appointment.

The Court will identify the key issues in the dispute and what steps should be taken next. This is the ‘tidying up’ hearing.

Dispute Resolution Hearing

Upon receipt of the information requested at the First Directions Appointment, the Court will give a view as to what they think should happen in the case. The parties will be encouraged to negotiate to try and reach a settlement.

Final Hearing

If an agreement cannot be reached, both parties will need to file a statement and then the judge will hear oral evidence and make a binding decision.

There could be more or less hearings depending upon the complexities of the case.

It is usually necessary to instruct a barrister during these proceedings and our family team have many links locally and nationally.

For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.