|Bring to the court 3 x copies of
any 'Position Statement' and your McKenzie Friend
will bring 3 copies of their CV.
You should meet
your McKenzie Friend arrive 1 hour before the
hearing time. On arrival, your McKenzie Friend
will book you both in at the reception or with
the court usher. Your McKenzie Friend will
present their CV. If a 'Position Statement' has
been completed, this will also be submitted. Your
McKenzie Friend may also have to complete the
courts own McKenzie Friend attendance form.
Your McKenzie Friend should then
identify the presence of the other party and
whether they are represented. Once they have been
identified, a copy of their CV and any 'Position
Statement' should be handed to the other side in
advance of speaking to the Cafcass officer and
going into court.
You should then wait for the
interviews with the Cafcass 0fficer. This
interview is done separately and the applicant is
usually spoken to first.
When you are called into the
interview room, your McKenzie Friend has a right
to be present.
Your McKenzie Friend will hand a
copy of their CV and your 'Position Statement' to
the Cafcass Officer.
Please note that
The DRA is not privileged. That is to say that
what is said at the DRA may be referred to at
later court hearings.
With the aid of
their Section 7 / Impact Analysis Report, the
Cafcass officer will seek to assist the parties
in resolving some or all of the issues between.
There will be a
possible of 5 main outcomes / considerations from
a) That there is
full agreement and the court can provide a
b) That there is
no agreement in which case the court will set a
c) That there is
'part agreement' in which case the court can
decide to order a shorter Final Hearing limited
to the outstanding issues.
d) The progression
of any interim contact.
to any Safeguarding requirements.
Once the Cafcass Officer has
spoken to both parties, the court calls everyone,
including the Cafcass Officer into court. Usually
the Cafcass officer informs the court of any
progress and outlines any remaining issues
between the two parties, any safeguarding issues
and provides recommendations for progressing
If there is no
Section 7 / Impact Analysis Report, then a
Cafcass Officer may not be present at the DRA. In
this case it is down to both parties to use the
time prior to the court hearing to negotiate.
Your McKenzie Friend, as a 'layperson', can
assist in negotiating with the legal
representative of the other side.
The DRA Hearing
If agreement has
been reached, the Judge will consider the
agreement and produce a consent order.
The DRA Hearing
The court will
review any interim contact orders and may
statements will be ordered from both parties,
these are called 'Narrative Statements'. These
should be written with full consideration of the
factors under the Child Welfare Checklist. These
are evidential statements and should be signed
and dated as:
'This statement is
to the best of my knowledge and belief true'.