Your legal team will have advised you on all the different options available for approaching the resolution of your family finances. (For more information on this, see my blog – How Do I Approach Getting a Financial Agreement in My Divorce).
Whilst many clients are keen to avoid going to court as they worry it will be expensive and stressful, sometimes it is the right decision to issue court proceedings.
This may be for various reasons. For example –
- Your spouse is not co-operating with providing their financial information
- There has been tremendous delay from your spouse and the case needs to move forward
- Mediation is not appropriate
- Financial negotiations have reached a stalemate
There are lot of important benefits to consider in going to court to get your financial settlement. For information about these and to find out more about the court process, see my blog – The Benefits of Going to Court to get a financial settlement.
Issuing court proceedings for finances, does not have to mean that your case will suddenly become acrimonious and should not be considered an aggressive approach. Family court proceedings are very different from the criminal court system. No one is on trial or treated as a criminal in the family court. The court system is there to assist you and your spouse to reach a resolution in your case. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement yourselves (with the assistance of your legal teams), then the judge can make the final decision on your behalf to bring the case to an end.
Here are some of the ways working with a divorce consultant can help if you’re going to court:
Providing practical help to gather information and documents for your legal team
Your solicitor and barrister will be busy getting all the relevant paperwork ready to best represent your legal case at court. They are likely to need lots of information and documentation from you, in order to do this. This can feel a little overwhelming and I can provide hands on practical help to help you gather all the information required and guide you to best present it to your legal team to make their job as straight forward as possible.
Assisting you to create a plan and strategy for yourself as to how to approach the court proceedings
Your legal team will provide you with legal advice about your case and details of how they intend to present it to the court. What would be helpful to them, is if you can have a clear idea of your desired outcome as well as agreeing with them a clear action plan and strategy for the case. I can help you think this through and decide how best to communicate it clearly it to your legal team.
Coaching you to help manage those difficult emotions
Many people get nervous about the prospect of going to court. Perhaps they are worried about both the court system itself and also seeing their estranged spouse. I can provide coaching support and techniques for managing the likely emotions that could come up. This will help you to feel calmer and more confident about attending court, putting you in the best position possible to think clearly and make rational decisions.
Guiding you about giving evidence at the Final Hearing
If you case goes through to the Final Hearing, you will be asked to speak in court to tell the judge about your situation. This is called “giving evidence”. It is nothing to be scared of. Your spouse will be required to do the same and both of you will be questioned by each barrister and perhaps also the judge. I can help you prepare for this and assist you to understand how best to answer the questions etc.
Giving advice about where to go and what to expect at court
It can be really helpful to have realistic expectations of what to expect when you are going to court – e.g. how to get there, what to expect of the building etc, how the day will progress etc. I can help you with all of this, to ensure you feel as familiar as possible with the court process and the day ahead. We can plan in advance your travel arrangements, child care arrangements(in case you are held up at court) etc.
Accompanying you to the court hearing
I can also accompany you to the court hearing and support you throughout the day. I can take notes in the meetings with your barrister and the court hearing itself, make sure you feel comfortable about understanding everything that is going on, the advice you are being given and the decisions you are being asked to make. If you are unsure of anything, I can help you to communicate this effectively to your legal team for them to explain further and/or provide clarity.
“Rhiannon attended court hearings and was an invaluable support. I completely respected her clear and honest thoughts as well as encouragement and guidance.”
– KJ from Surrey (a client)
” Rhiannon has been a particular help when she has come to court. A court hearing can often be very difficult for family clients because they will be experiencing very strong emotions – often huge sadness but also perhaps anger. It is important though that if we are at court my clients are able to understand what is going on and to keep a clear head so that they can make decisions for example if we are trying to negotiate a financial agreement. Rhiannon is able to help my clients to keep steady and objective which means we are much better able to bring things to a satisfactory conclusion as quickly as we can.”
– Sarah Duckworth (solicitor from Mundays Solicitors)
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.
If you’d like to work with me 1:1, for help preparing for court/or support during the court process, please get in touch to find out how I can help.