Remote hearings by telephone

Important information for your hearing

What you need to know

To ensure that you are fully prepared for your telephone hearing, please take the time to carefully read the instructions outlined below. My goal is to ensure that you have all the information needed for any eventuality during the telephone hearing.

Plan ahead

You must ensure that your mobile phone is fully charged ahead of the telephone hearing.

Find a quiet place to take the call.

Be prepared for the next hearing date to be fixed during the telephone hearing. If you have any dates to avoid, let me know, in advance.

The rules

When you are taking the call, no one else must be in the room. These are private family law proceedings. Other people, even family members, are not permitted to hear these proceedings. You must not record the hearing. It is a criminal offence to do so.

Before the hearing commences

You should receive a call shortly before the hearing is due to commence. However, the hearing before yours may overrun, meaning that your call could be slightly later than expected. There could be a 20-minute wait or longer. If so, stay by your phone and wait for the call. When the call comes, you will hear a recorded message inviting you to “Join the conference”. When asked to do so, press * (star) then number 1 on your phone. When asked to do so, say your name and press # (hash). Then stay on the line, while others are joining, one at a time. Stay silent, until you are invited to speak. When everyone has joined, you may hear the judge or legal advisor announce that call is now ‘locked’.

During the remote telephone hearing

The judge (or legal advisor) will determine the order of the proceedings and they will invite the lawyers and Cafcass to speak, in turn. Only one person may speak at a time. Listen in silence. You must not interrupt.

Communications between you and me during the hearing

If there is anything that you need to tell me during the hearing, message me via email. If an important matter arises, which you need to discuss with me, let me know by email, or if I need discuss something with you, I will ask the court to end the call to allow us a few minutes to discuss the issue(s). The court may allow us five, possibly ten minutes and will then dial us all ‘back in’ and the hearing will resume.

After the telephone hearing

After the telephone hearing, I will email my Attendance Note to you. This will outline what was said, what was decided and any next steps which need to be taken by you.