Does my client have to attend a directions hearing?

I’m a family law practitioner due to attend a directions hearing in the Family Court in two weeks’ time. My client has told me that they'll lose a day’s pay if they attend. As the hearing is purely procedural, does my client have to attend?

Rule 27.3 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 states that “unless the court directs otherwise, a party shall attend a hearing or directions appointment of which the party has been given notice”.

Accordingly, your client will have to attend the hearing.

However, as there’s still a fortnight before the directions hearing, you may have sufficient time to ask the court to excuse the attendance of your client on grounds of financial hardship.

The court has complete discretion as to the circumstances in which to dispense with the attendance of a party and can do so either on request of a party or of its own initiative.

Disclaimer

While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

Have you got a practice question? Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email practiceadvice@lawsociety.org.uk

The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.