Disclaimer : This document does
is not intended in anyway to constitute legal
advice, it is a general information and
signposting sheet. References to any persons,
details and cases are entirely fictional.
If you have a FInal Hearing,
call us today on 01420 370770 for a FREE 1 hr
For the purposes
of this walkthrough you are the applicant
attending with your McKenzie Friend
Arrive 1 hr before
the court hearing time stated on the Order and
meet your McKenzie Friend
Friend will book you in at reception / with the
usher and present a copy of their CV. They will
find the legal representative of the other side
and also hand them a copy of their CV.
When you are called into court or chambers, the
applicant should sit on the left and the
respondent on the right. Your McKenzie Friend may
sit next to you. If the other side is
represented, they will sit behind their
Refer to Magistrates as Your
Worships and District Judges as
Sir or Madam.
Circuit Judges are Your
If Cafcass are present, the court
may allow them to give their evidence first and
to be cross examined by both parties.
Alternatively, Cafcass may be permitted to sit in
court during proceedings to listen to evidence of
both parties before giving their evidence.
Step 1: The judge will ask
the applicant to take the oath and to then verify
their statement as true and accurate and will
accept the statement as Evidence in
Chief. This means that the content does not
have to be repeated.
Step 2: The Applicant will
be asked if there is any new information to add
to their statement.
Step 3: The Applicant
will then be asked questions by the legal
representative of the other side. This is called
cross examination. Your McKenzie Friend cannot
assist you whilst you are giving evidence.
Step 4: The Judge /
Magistrates may then ask questions.
Step 5: The above steps
(1-4) are then repeated for the respondent. Their
legal representative will help swear them on oath
and ask them to confirm that their statement is
true and accurate. The applicant will then be
able to ask any questions, with the support of
their McKenzie Friend quietly advising them and
Note: There may be times
when the applicant or respondent is still under
oath and giving evidence and the court breaks for
lunch. During this period, that parent is not
permitted to discuss any aspects of the case with
their McKenzie Friend or legal representative.
The best position is to separate from each other
during the lunch break to prevent any allegations
of improper communication.
Step 6: At the conclusion
of all evidence and cross examination, the court
will allow both parties to present a summary of
their case, also known as submissions. Typically,
this can last anywhere from 10 minutes to half an
hour. This provides both parties to highlight any
aspects of the evidence that supports their case,
to clarify anything that may have not been fully
presented or understood, to state what they are
seeking and why their proposal is reasonable. The
lawyer will do this for the other side if they
are represented. Your McKenzie Friend cannot
speak on your behalf unless they have
specifically been given permission by the court.
Step 8: At the conclusion
of submissions, the judge or chair of the
magistrate bench will verbally give their Final
Order and reasons. This will be in relation to
the parameters of the Child Welfare Check List.
Step 9: Both parties will
receive a 'sealed' order, meaning that it has the
court stamp on it. This may be provided on the
day or be sent by post 2-3 weeks later.
Call us on 01420 370770