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Are Family Court Hearings Still Going Ahead & What Can I Expect?

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Due to the need for social distancing no attended hearings at Court are taking place save for the most urgent of cases and where it is impossible for the case to be conducted remotely i.e. by telephone. At Johnson Astills we have had no attended hearings since lockdown in family or public law matters.


Remote hearings are taking place locally and these include children and finance matters. Our experience at Leicester Family Court is that we can expect to receive from the Court an email asking if the hearing can be dealt with remotely, normally a few days prior to the listing date. If the hearing can be dealt with remotely then details are provided to the Court of parties’ phone numbers. A time slot is then advised to us.

The hearing will proceed remotely as it would do if it was an attended hearing and is recorded. Solicitors for parties are expected to have discussions at least 24 hours before a hearing so as to enable the telephone hearing to be focused and for issues to be narrowed. If matters can be agreed beforehand it may be possible to avoid the need for a telephone hearing altogether.

If a party fails to provide contact details to the Court when requested or is not contactable during the allocated time slot then there is a risk that Orders can be made in their absence.

Some hearings are not proceeding and are having to be adjourned. This is unavoidable but is necessary in some cases where justice dictates that to proceed might cause an unfair or unjust outcome for either party.

At Johnson Astills our Family Team and Care Team can represent you at a remote hearing. If you wish to discuss your matter with a Family or Care solicitor and the likelihood of a hearing proceeding then please contact us at our Leicester office on 0116 255 4855 or at our Loughborough office on 01509 610 312.