Presenting Your Case in Court

father presenting case in family court emotionallyNever go alone. Always have someone alongside you, even if it is to take notes of what is said. It does take a bit of practice to become effective in presenting your case in court. A McKenzie Friend next to you can give you confidence and help along the way.

Always prepare yourself for what the hearing is about. Litigants often make the mistake of preparing their case on something other than what the hearing is about. But you can always ask for things such as interim contact, etc. Hearings can be Final hearings, Finding of facts hearings, Case allocation hearings.

If you are the applicant, you should start first. If you don’t feel confident opening the case then you might be better at responding to what the other side says and leading into what you are asking for.

Remember to pace yourself. Give a teaser to open with. Let the other side raise their objections and then rejoin with full arguments that nullify the other side’s objections. Your opener should expand on your position statement and be arguments to support your statement of issues. Your statement of issues is what you are asking the judge to decide on.

Do your homework. Before going to court be prepared by writing 3 objections to each single point you make and then think of conclusive arguments that cancel these objections. It is important to focus on the key points. You must win the major points. To do this focus on the major things you want.

If you don’t feel fully confident speaking before a judge then put it in writing what you want to say. Type this up. Then rehearse what you have typed up until you can remember it by heart. Then, for court, have a list of the main points of what you have written on a piece of paper. Then just refer to the list of main points when speaking in court.

Open the case by presenting what you want the court to award you in general terms like an increase in contact, such as moving from indirect contact to direct contact, increasing the frequency of contact, moving from visiting contact to staying contact, moving from staying contact to residence. Always put it in a way that you are facilitating better relations between you the mother and the child. For example it would allow the mother more free time if I picked up my child directly from school.

Don’t forget the judge is human and a slight sense of humor might relieve the tension. Speak with passion and belief. Persuade positively and not by criticising and ridiculing the court, the mother, CAFCASS or other parties. It is better to present all the evidence that leads to the conclusion of incompetence of dishonesty without actually stating it. It is far better for the judge to make that conclusion by himself.

McKenzie_Friends_Practice_Guidance_July_2010

Recommended books

Although by an American author you can employ his techniques to give you confidence in how to present yourself in court and persuade the judge. It is an easy to read book with plenty about honesty and passion as the basis of your presentation. This is an easy to read book with good advice on how to speak in court. It is definitely a beginners book. It is in the English courts with many cases mostly criminal though. You can buy this book for the price of the postage.

 

You will most certainly need this book if your in a finding of fact hearing. Many finding of facts have been made against fathers based on no facts at all. You will need to expose the fact that there is no substance to the allegations against you. You do this in cross examination.

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