Follow-up action after first appointment
Follow-up action after first appointment

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Follow-up action after first appointment
  • Replies to questionnaire
  • Narrative statements
  • Expert evidence
  • Instruction of counsel
  • Family Justice Council best practice guidance

The first appointment is a time-tabling hearing, with the objective of defining the issues, managing costs and setting out the next stages of the financial order application. See: The first appointment—Purpose. It is essential that any directions made at the first appointment are complied with, within the time-scales specified, in preparation for the financial dispute resolution appointment (FDR), while also seeking to negotiate a settlement as appropriate. See also Practice Notes: The first appointment, Preparation for the financial dispute resolution appointment and Private financial dispute resolution appointments and early neutral evaluation.

Replies to questionnaire

Some clients prefer to collect the replies to the questionnaire together themselves with little involvement from solicitors. Others require more assistance. Either at the court hearing or soon afterwards, the individual questions in the questionnaire should be discussed with the client and a note taken of their replies. If they need assistance in collecting together appropriate documents, then they can sign letters of authority to enable their solicitors to request information on their behalf.

If further bank statements have been requested in the questionnaire and the client does not have them to hand, then it may be necessary to request the statements on the client’s behalf with their specific authority, see Practice Note: HM Land Registry searches and obtaining bank statements.

The usual format of replies to the questionnaire is that the question

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