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How does the family court distribute child cases

How does the family court distribute child cases may be a puzzle to parents seeking to sort out child arrangements with the other parent. Cheshire family solicitors Stonehewer Moss have 26 years experience of conducting children cases and recommend a bit of research before deciding court is your best option. The family court is a relatively new concept. Until 2014 a child dispute was resolved by one of three distinct courts: The magistrates; The county court and the High Court. The decision to start a case in any level of court was taken by the applicant, though rules of court might quickly involve a decision by the court to transfer it elsewhere that was suitable to the issues. There are now far more people applying to court without a lawyer to represent them, so the family court being a unification of the three former levels of court should help in theory.

Since 2014 an applicant to the court has had the simpler task of applying only to the family court but there is now a rule of court that beforehand, unless exempted, it is necessary to meet a mediator and consider with the other parent upon his or her being invited to attend, whether mediation can resolve the problem. Mediation is non binding and the rule of court does not (could not) force either parent to choose mediation over the court. Judges can find ways to get their way if you are considered to have made the wrong decision in ploughing ahead with mediation but this cannot be relied upon and once in court your case will resolve on some basis. Permission of the court is necessary before withdrawing an application, as the court has a duty to safeguard the welfare of children brought to the attention of it.How does the family court distribute child cases; following rules that also require consideration of out of court mediation.

Once an application is made to the family court, the court now determines what level of judiciary is appropriate to the issues in the case. It is called allocation. If a case becomes more complex it can be transferred to a more senior court and vice versa. Not all localities have all levels of the family court immediately close to the parents. The court has a tribunal finder search facility on the court service website and it is worth seeing where you should start the case using that search. Rural or county areas can involve parents travelling to urban courts that may prove a significant culture shock. Serious thought should be given to this point with the other parent before you plunge in to court. Do you really think a day in the likely venue is right for your children or can you explore in a mature way the options for settling such as lawyer negotiation, mediation and even arbitration at a place you choose but with some cost. A solicitor can advise you on each option and Resolution has a search facility on the website that locates specialist solicitors close to your home.

Most straight forward, in terms of legal issues, child cases should be heard by lay magistrates and it is worth noting that the first hearing is before a legal adviser rather than a judge. Your decision to apply to the family court may cause your children, despite your views, to be spoken to by cafcass. Again, some reflection before court is wise. How does the family court distribute child cases; objectively, in most cases the family court allocates to the lay magistrates with a first hearing before a legal adviser rather than a judge.

For advice negotiation and representation in child arrangements cases in Cheshire please call 01606872200 e mail visit

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Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

Solicitors in Northwich covering Chester, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Northwich, Runcorn, Sandbach, Warrington, Winsford, and across Cheshire.

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