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Urgent Directions hearing

Posted by Christofi 
Urgent Directions hearing
March 15, 2021 10:58AM
I just found out that I have an urgent hearing to attend tomorrow by telephone. I have not had a chance to seek legal advice. The reason of this urgent hearing is that I advised my ex-husband that I plan to relocate to abroad (where we originate and both of our families live) but I have taken absolutely no action so far (not selling house, children's passport not renewed, no flights booked) and in my email to his solicitor I noted that I'd like to ask for my ex-husband's consent. My ex-husband nor his solicitor have informed me that they have issued an application under the Children Act 1989 to both enforce and vary the order that we have 5 years ago until late Friday afternoon via email. Is this an acceptable notice as I have not received any documents in the post?

There is already a further hearing in May and will I be disadvantaged if I don't have anyone to represent me tomorrow? I have not been asked to attend mediation and can the Court just issue me a prohibited steps order to prevent me from removing the children from UK, not allow us to holiday or relocate at all? From children welfare/best interest perspective, the relocation won't be a big step (as children have been spending their previous summer holidays there), we will have support family network, there's same education system, and I can relocate my job. If we remain here, we struggle with childcare and I am financially less well off due to the lack of family support network. I know every case is different but my ex-husband is acting a bully at the moment given that he knows I have limited finance to fight legally and not qualify for legal aid.
Re: Urgent Directions hearing
March 16, 2021 08:06AM
I know I'll find out more this afternoon but any advice will be grateful. Thank you.
Re: Urgent Directions hearing
March 16, 2021 12:49PM
Is it correct that I cannot avoid making C2 application?
Re: Urgent Directions hearing
March 16, 2021 05:34PM
The hearing is urgent because the court will want to preserve the status quo by ensuring the children stay in the UK until such time as it can properly consider what would be in the children's best interests. The steps directed at the hearing will be temporary until such time as each parent can fully explain their position and, possibly, a welfare report has been prepared. In view of what you said to your husband about relocating the children abroad urgent steps did need to be taken to ensure that could not happen without a court fully considering the issue if you husband did not agree (which he obviously does not).
Re: Urgent Directions hearing
March 16, 2021 07:23PM
Much appreciated David. The judge didn't issue me prohibited steps order today given that I did ask for my ex-husband's consent and they made no reference to it on their application to The Family Court. I am of course aware that I can't just remove my children from this jurisdiction without my ex-husband's consent. The Court ordered me to make children available for telephone call with my ex-husband every Wednesday at a specific time for now which I have no objection. I understand that I need to make C2 application and ask the Judge to consolidate applications? I don't qualify for legal aid and I can't afford solicitors or barristers to attend hearings, but is it a big "NO" to do this myself i.e. submit C2? My husband didn't ask for residence order and I feel I know my situation best.

If I don't submit C2 and seek for permission, is it correct that the judge will not take my relocation request into the case consideration? My next hearing is early May and I should submit my case asap or first do I contact my ex-husband's solicitor to "negotiate/discuss". Would you propose mediation?

Thank you again and appreciate any guidance/advice.
Re: Urgent Directions hearing
March 17, 2021 10:53AM
To be honest I don't get involved in cases where children are the main point at issue. There is no reason why you cannot deal with this yourself although you can probably get some advice from a local Citizens Advice Bureau and for a hearing which is actually decisive (such as whether a court will let you take the children to live abroad permanently and which involves taking evidence and cross examination) you may want to consider getting representation for that type of hearing.
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