A date to attend at Court will be given immediately after the Originating Summons has been accepted by the Registry for filing. You do not have to attend the hearing yourself if you have a lawyer. Your lawyer can attend the hearing on your behalf. Similarly, if the Defendant has a lawyer, his or her lawyer will attend the hearing on his or her behalf. However, if you do not have a lawyer acting for you, you will have to attend the hearing personally.
The first Court attendance will be before an Assistant Registrar, who will give directions for the conduct of the proceedings. When the parties’ respective Affidavits have been duly filed and the matter is ready for a substantive hearing, the Assistant Registrar will give directions accordingly for the hearing, which will be fixed before a District Judge in chambers.
If parties are able to reach an amicable resolution of the dispute before the hearing, the parties can attend before the District Judge in chambers for a consent order to be recorded before the District Judge. The recording of the consent order will formally end the Court proceedings.
If parties are not able to resolve the matter amicably on the hearing date before the District Judge in chambers, the District Judge will proceed to give directions on the filing of the application and hear the application and make his or her decision based on the Affidavits that have been filed in Court and after hearing submissions from the parties or their lawyers, as the case may be.
If there is a possibility for amicable resolution, the District Judge may direct the parties to either attend mediation or counselling at the Family Relations Chambers.