Should I get a Barrister for a Directions Hearing / experience of using Advocate
6 September 2021 at 5:26 pm #58808
Hi, I’m a newbie to court, and specifically Child Act proceedings. I am an LIP and have a Directions Hearing coming up soon, which I think is to determine whether or not a Fact Finding Hearing is required (we are both citing domestic abuse – me a whole range, the ex is citing parental alienation and possibly more who knows, and we’re preparing our respective Scott Schedules and Statements). I have done an initial application for Advocate to get a pro bono barrister, but when I made the application I didn’t really understand as much a I do now, and I’m wondering whether it’s worth having a barrister for a directions hearing, or whether it’s better to try and secure one for bigger hearings. I do happen to have a health condition at the moment that means any level of stress is really taking its toll on my recovery, so the idea of having to spend an hour in the hearing does make me worry about that. I know I could try and postpone the hearing on the basis of my health but I ‘m equally keen to progress the case so things don’t drag on. Thanks in advance7 September 2021 at 12:59 am #58818
Hi Winter Solstice,
Massive hugs & strength to you if wanted.. LIP is tough, if it helps ETBB produced a doc many i know have found useful for prep – Microsoft Word – ETBB_LiP _finalised_.doc (judiciary.uk)
Dv in family courts is often only recognised in how it is presented; it will need to be evidenced quite specifically before the fact finding hearing is validated.
Its great you’ve put in an application for an Advocate to get the pro bono barrister, don’t worry it can be mind frying even for the experts at times! with your health in mind too, it may be better to try secure a barrister for all stages if possible. – personally if he his attempting to cite abuse this could be vital, even at this stage. As you described ‘or’ are you having to choose which?
– for the very best advice, i highly recommend ROW/ Rights of Women, they have a national helpline & can discuss all stages/ details on an ongoing basis for any query. – they also have a great understanding of the asshated blaming tactics these abusers employ … like trying to cite alienation after they’ve been such a asshole they alienated themselves or trying to gaslight the court 🙂
Love & luck to you7 September 2021 at 1:00 am #588197 September 2021 at 3:50 pm #58854
Hi JBLA wow thanks so much for your reply, very reassuring. That’s really valuable info about the merits of trying to get a barrister for each stage – not having to choose for which stage, just I gather I have to go through that onerous process if I want to apply to get a barrister for each hearing. So my question was to try and work out whether it was worth the hours / work to go through that process if its not in the end worth it for a Directions Hearing.
Rights of Women have been an amazing resource. I’ve used them a couple of times and recommended them to a few friends / organisations. Absolutely worth their weight in gold. Their lawyers are really on it and know their stuff, and you get the sense they really care about what they do. The only issue is the hours of their phone lines are so limited – they ought to get lots more funding so they can increase their provision, as clearly there are so many that need their help. My concern is how many in the legal profession don’t seem to be as enlightened as them….
Thanks again!8 September 2021 at 12:05 am #58877
You are most welcome! glad you found it assuring xx
I do see your logic, typically, perhaps a barrister for each stage might not be entirely needed for many cases, or there is that hope!
At the same time, as much as significant awareness & hope-filing progress has been made in recent years, especially with the new Domestic Abuse Bill & Act.. i’ve witnessed/ known of so many cases (personal exp & work) where even seemingly clear cases have become too easily clad in painful difficulties & systemic failings, it can be hard to believe how quickly things can snowball into devastating outcomes, particularly with known abusers. Even with an IDVA or legal advocates support, i’d caution any kind of complacency to not expect the abuser will be bringing his worst/ best ability of that to the table. From experience, i’ve found it’s better to be as prepared as possible, and not take any chances, it always pays off to have as much support as can be afforded or found at each stage in complex cases… Even on our strongest days having to present or discuss details & effects of abuse can be really tough, let alone in this scenario & with the abuser present & essentially attacking this or potentially presenting any unknowns too. Having a barrister through this in the least will be a relief & much healthier, no matter how tough or what he attempts, in the worst case it could be all the difference to the outcome &/ how things pan out down the line. Feels worth considering too, with all the disruptions of this pandemic, it could be more likely that the family courts are under pressures with mistakes potentially more likely in that.
i feel very wary of causing you more anxiety or stress, particularly as it can be onerous to procure the support of a barrister & not typically easy either, i really do hope it goes well for you no matter what you choose & have every faith you’d get through this. On this note it can make a difference & always pays off to plan in more recovery & wellbeing than we think we need to be on the safe side too. It won’t do any harm 🙂
<3 so glad you to read you’ve had good experiences with RoW, they really are worth their weight in gold, indeed wish they could reach more too! things are getting better, but the lack of dv/ criminal law awareness across family law courts/ professionals is deeply concerning, case by case my marrow aches collectively the system will get there for everyone.
all the love & wellness to you through this, you deserve to be supported! 🙂 xx