Ayisha Robertson was recently instructed by Callie Black of Stevens Drake Solicitors to help her defend the Respondent in a particularly challenging Prohibited Steps Order proceedings. The case also involved a Child Arrangements Application.
The Applicant had represented themselves at the ex-parte hearing during which a Prohibited Steps Order and Child Arrangement ‘lives with’ order had been made in the Applicant’s favour.
Miss Robertson felt that the Court had erred and that the criteria for an ex-parte hearing had clearly not been met. She believed insufficient evidence had been provided in support of the application.
Deciding against an appeal, Miss Robertson considered the fairest course of action would be to meet with the Applicant and/or her representative at the Return Date Hearing. This would provide an opportunity to discuss the Applicant’s intentions and negotiate the best way forward.
The time at Court was well utilised. With the parties appearing in person, the Applicant confirmed to Miss Robertson that there were no issues with the Respondents parenting, but explained she wanted a ‘lives with’ order with the child to spend an equal amount of time between both parties.
It also transpired the Applicant had made their application for a Prohibited Steps Order in response to the Respondent refusing to provide details of a proposed holiday and that, in fact, the Applicant did not consider the Respondent a flight risk at all.
Firm advice was given by Miss Robertson to the Respondent about their conduct and undertakings, on a without prejudice basis, were agreed to reassure the Applicant. As such final Child Arrangements Orders were made and the Prohibited Steps Order Application was dismissed against our client.
Miss Robertson was extremely conscious of her duties to a Self-Represented Party. She ensured their discussions outside of Court were relayed in full.
Miss Robertson stayed to draft the Order at Court before the Applicant left, amending it according to the Applicant’s reasonable requests before providing the Court with the Order. This confirmed the Applicant had fully understood the Order and agreed it.
Speaking after the hearing our client said they were “extremely pleased with the outcome” and described Miss Robertson’s involvement as “brilliant!”