A court order that the father had pre-written and subsequently altered following discussions with the mother’s solicitors. A handwritten copy was obtained before leaving court (This is essential). The handwritten copy is sent up to the judge to basically rubber stamp it. This is the typed up version below sent out by the solicitors, a few days later. The official court order may be sent out up to a month later. It takes experience and practice to prepare a court order. It is possible to use the solicitors draft court order as the basis for negotiations. Don’t be afraid to argue your corner. A solicitor may threaten to refer it back to the judge. However, ignore this and persist. Judges are not happy with solicitors that cannot come to consent; so the solicitor wants that less than you. If no agreement is forthcoming then the judge will have to re-open the hearing and make a decision on what you can’t agree on.
Remember this is an absolutely crucial stage of the proceedings. What you may win in court, you may lose by the other side’s solicitor preparing a draft court order in secret that bears little resemblance to what was ordered in court by the judge. This is sometimes referred to as a consent order. Which is meant to mean it is what both parties have agreed to. Remember, the judge wants to rubber stamp this draft court order. He doesn’t want to order what neither party or one party don’t agree to. Don’t be afraid of the judge not agreeing to the order – be bold. A few choice words early on can make a drastic difference to your and your children’s lives.
Note: The applicant is to prepare the trial bundle in para 2.(d). The applicant being the litigant father.
IT IS ORDERED THAT:-
1. The First Respondent mother shall make the child L available for contact with the Applicant father in accordance with the Schedule attached hereto.
2. For the avoidance of doubt the following directions shall stand (as previously ordered):-
(a) the parents shall by 4 pm 29.10.08 file and serve their brief statements of evidence;
(b) the Guardian shall file and serve her report by 12.11.08;
(c) the parties shall file and serve their position statements by 26.11.08; and
(d) the Applicant shall be responsible for the preparation, updating and lodging of bundles (as provided for at paragraph 4 of the order dated 22.4.08.
3. Costs in the application.