The recent outbreak has lead to a great number of changes for almost everyone, affecting all aspects of our daily lives. The Courts are no exception to this and have had to adapt to the current guidelines produced by the Government.
Currently in the family courts, Hearings are still going ahead where possible. Given the current social distancing restrictions and guidance, Hearings are not currently being conducted by attending at Court. If the Hearing can be conducted via telephone conferencing then this how the Hearing will be conducted.
If the Hearing is a Directions Hearing for example, then the Courts are encouraging parties to try and agree the directions, so that these can be submitted and dealt with on paper by the Judge. There may be some types of Hearings, for example a Final Hearing where a lot of oral evidence is required, when telephone conferencing would not be appropriate and these Hearings will usually be adjourned to a later date.
Given the current constraints, the family courts are currently giving priority to urgent Hearings such a Care Proceedings or Non-Molestation/Occupation Injunctions or children Hearings.
Due to issues such as Judge shortages from illness, some Hearings are having to be adjourned by the Court and listed for another date. If this happens, the family team at Thursfields are very experienced in advising as to the best approach to take and can suggest proactive alternatives such as round table meetings/private hearings by video conferencing such as Zoom, to try and progress/resolve your matter, if your Court Hearing is adjourned for any reason.
We hope the above is helpful and our family team at Thursfields are also always on hand should you need assistance, should matters break down. Our team is here to offer a sympathetic, supportive and approachable person at the end of the phone to offer advice. We are still very much operating and here to meet your needs. We are able to facilitate Zoom, Facetime or telephone conferencing should you wish to do so.
We are also in daily contact with the Courts as to how matters are progressing and how Hearings are being conducted away from the Court setting. We have all the facilities needed to accommodate these. We are able to facilitate all of your needs at this difficult time.