All of these are acceptable exhibits for evidence –as long as you can verify where they came from and show the Court that they are authentic and accurate documents. People who are involved in court proceedings are called litigants. Email: [email protected], Sexual harassment, assault and rape on campus, PDF guide to preparing for court hearings and safety in the Family Court, Children and the law: when parents separate, A guide to financial arrangements after marriage breakdown, www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk, Which hearing the position statement is for (date, case number, names of parties), What has happened since the last hearing (for example, documents you have sent to the court, documents you have received from the other party, any documents the other party was supposed to send to you which you have not received), If you have failed to comply with any court directions then provide a short explanation, If the other parent has been seeing the children then your views on how contact has gone, If you have concerns about the child arrangements or incidents of domestic violence since the last hearing then provide a short and concise summary of these concerns, What directions you want the judge to make at the hearing (for example if you want permission to file a statement or to instruct an expert or if it is a financial case perhaps you require disclosure of your husband’s bank statements or valuation of a property), If you are bringing a friend, relation or support worker to court to support you and sit next to you provide brief details. If you prepare a position statement you should ideally send it to the court and the other party at least a day before the hearing. Generally, McKenzie Friends will be somebody you know. If the Motion to Reconsider isn’t successful then you can appeal your case to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The judge must explain those reasons fully to you and your proposed McKenzie Friend. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. If neither the applicant nor the respondent have a lawyer, then nobody needs to prepare the bundle. Bring copies of all of the documents you have received from the court and all of the documents you have provided to the court. Step 3: What should I use for exhibits? To prepare a witness list, list everyone who you might reasonably call. If you require language support then you can ask the court to provide an interpreter for your preferred language. If you are worried about being questioned directly by your abuser, or you are worried about having to question him directly at a final hearing or a fact finding hearing, you can request that the judge asks the questions as an intermediary. If the applicant does not have a lawyer, then the respondent’s lawyer should prepare the bundle. It is important to read carefully the order or notice as it may include directions as to things the court requires you and the other party to do before the next court hearing. There will normally be more than one case in each court room. Unless the order or notice of hearing states otherwise, you should attend court at least 30 minutes before the hearing starts. This guide is designed to provide general information only for the law in England and Wales. A final hearing or final trial isn’t necessarily the end of your case. After you have been through security you need to find your court room. Remember to take your copy of the court bundle with you to court. The party responding to the application is called the respondent. Just because a party is on a witness list doesn’t mean that they must come to court for the hearing! In the Family Court the party who started the proceedings by making an application is usually called the applicant. The judge will decide whether you can attend the hearing via a live link. Prepare your list of potential witnesses and submit it to all other parties and to the Court in a timely manner in compliance with all Court orders and rules. It may seem obvious but the most important thing is to listen to the question and make sure you answer the question that is asked. Always contact the court a few days before a hearing to make sure your special measures have been arranged. Bundles are used in court by the judge and the parties. Step 2: What if there are no pretrial orders? Step 2: What if there are no pretrial orders? You will need to inform the judge that you are bringing a McKenzie Friend to assist you. Finally, take note that in New Hampshire, contested divorces do not become final until their listed Judgment Day, which is 30 days after the Final Orders are issued. Depending on the case, prepare the following: Parenting Plan (Minor children / Custody): Decree on Parenting (Unmarried parties, custody cases): Again, all copies of proposed final orders must go to all parties in compliance with deadlines. Make sure that you provide all copies to all parties in compliance with the deadlines from the pretrial order or the Family Division Rules. If your court case is about your child then you may also be approached by an officer from Cafcass who will want to find out your views and discuss issues that you may be able to agree upon. When you arrive, security staff will normally ask you to walk through a metal detector and check your bags. For further information about which courts they operate in visit their website: www.thepsu.org. This can be a broad and sweeping category, so it makes sense to discuss what shouldn’t be a trial exhibit, instead. The name of the court hearing indicates what stage the proceedings are at and what the purpose of the hearing is. In England and Wales there is no specific limit on the number of hearings that can happen in a children matter. For free, confidential, legal advice contact our advice lines, 24 hour domestic violence helpline – 0808 200 0247 – www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk, The Law Society – 0207 320 5650 – www.lawsociety.org.uk/find-a-solicitor, Ministry of Justice – 020 3334 3555 – www.find-legal-advice.justice.gov.uk, Resolution – 01689 820272 – www.resolution.org.uk, Citizens Advice – www.citizensadvice.org.uk, Law Centres Network – 020 7749 9120 – www.lawcentres.org.uk, Law Works Clinic Network – www.lawworks.org.uk, Bar Pro Bono Unit – www.barprobono.org.uk, Personal Support Unit – 020 7947 7701 – www.thepsu.org, Disability Law Service – 020 7791 9800 – www.dls.org.uk, Tell us what you think of our legal information here, Contact us at: to see if you and the other party can come to an agreement on some or all of the issues. There is space to include this information on your court forms, however it is also a good idea to contact the court directly to ensure that they have made the appropriate arrangements. This means that a final hearing can Read carefully your notice of hearing or your court order from the last hearing. Family cases are unique in that they often do not settle – it is, understandably, hard to compromise or settle a case where our children and our emotional connections to romantic partners are concerned. Rights of Women publishes a number of other legal guides that may be useful including Children and the law: when parents separate and A guide to financial arrangements after marriage breakdown and Domestic violence injunctions. There are usually two parties in each case. 52-54 Featherstone Street, You have a right to a McKenzie Friend and the judge should only refuse to allow your McKenzie Friend for compelling (strong) reasons. Deadlines for exhibits to be submitted, for Proposed Final Orders, and to submit lists of witnesses may all be set by the pretrial orders. If you are afraid that the other party will follow you out of the court then you can ask the judge or the Cafcass officer to help you by asking the other party to remain in the court building for a certain period of time after you have left. You should provide the court with details of any adjustments you may require to take part in the hearing, at the earliest opportunity. You should seek up-to-date, independent legal advice. This legal guide is designed to give information on how to prepare for a court hearing in the Family Court. If a litigant does not have a lawyer they are called a litigant in person. Family law cases are the most contested cases; and how could they not be? If the party who is the applicant in the case has a lawyer, then the applicant’s lawyer is required to prepare the court bundle. Step 6: It didn’t go well! to tell you the other party’s position or views for the hearing, to find out your position or views for the hearing, to see if you and the other party can come to an agreement on some or all of the issues, to give you their position statement and to take a copy of your position statement, if you have not already exchanged these documents. A McKenzie Friend can sit with you, take notes, provide suggestions to you and help you organise documents. If the Court doesn’t issue pretrial orders, then the Family Division Rules set very important deadlines for submitted material before the final hearing. If you intend to request screens or a live link you must inform the court as soon as possible to ensure that the equipment is available at the hearing. Rights of Women, If you are concerned about your safety, or that seeing the other party face to face will make it difficult for you to take part in the hearing then you should consider the following: An example of why you may need screens or a live link is if you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and being in the room with the other parent will trigger a reaction or make it difficult for you to participate in the hearing.