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Top 7 Reasons for Failure to Attend Family Court Hearings in the UK

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Family court hearings are an important part of the legal process in the UK, and all parties need to attend for the matter to be properly heard.

Unfortunately, there are often times when individuals fail to attend family court hearings, and this can have serious consequences.

In this blog post, we’ll explore why there’s a failure to attend family court hearing UK and the potential implications.

1) You didn’t know the date or time of the hearing

Missing a family court hearing can have serious consequences, and one of the most common reasons why people fail to attend is because they do not know the date or time of the hearing.

If you are unfamiliar with the family court system or have received inadequate advice, it can be not easy to keep track of all the dates and deadlines.

UK Courts Hearing Trends

It is important to keep copies of all correspondence from the court regarding your case, as this will contain information about any hearing dates and times.

You should also ensure that you keep your lawyer updated about any changes in your address or contact details, as failure to do so can mean you do not receive crucial information about upcoming court dates.

If you are still unsure about the date or time of a hearing, there are a few steps you can take.

  1. Firstly, you should review your witness statement, as this may have details about the date and time of the final hearing.
  2. Secondly, you can contact the family court for clarification.
  3. Alternatively, if you have an attorney representing you, they should be able to provide you with the necessary information.

To avoid missing a family court hearing due to not knowing the date or time, it is important to stay organised and keep up to date with all paperwork sent by the court. Contact your lawyer or the family court if you are unsure about anything.

2) You didn’t receive the paperwork

One of the top reasons for failure to attend family court hearing UK is that you didn’t receive the paperwork.

If you didn’t receive the paperwork containing important information about the date, time, and location of the hearing, then it may be impossible for you to attend the hearing.

This can occur for various reasons, from the post being delayed or misdirected to your lawyer failing to provide the paperwork to you promptly.

Additionally, if you are required to submit witness statements or other documents to the family court before the final hearing, then failure to do so could result in an adjournment or a dismissal of your case.

Therefore, you must receive the necessary paperwork from your lawyer or the court to have a successful family court hearing.

3) You didn’t understand the paperwork

It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the paperwork you receive from the Family Court.

From witness statements to final hearing notices, it can be difficult to understand what’s expected of you when attending a Family Court hearing. If you don’t understand the paperwork, it’s important to take the time to clarify your understanding with your legal representative before the hearing.

To ensure that you fully understand all the paperwork provided by the Family Court, speak to your lawyer as soon as possible to discuss any questions or request clarification on anything you don’t understand. Doing so will help ensure that you have everything in place for your Family Court hearing. If you fail to do this, likely, you won’t be able to provide all the necessary information at the Family Court hearing, and this could result in you missing your hearing.

4) You thought someone else was dealing with it

Failing to attend a family court hearing can happen for various reasons, including mistakenly believing that someone else is dealing with it.

When dealing with family court matters, it is important to understand your responsibilities and obligations when attending court hearings.

It is not uncommon for people to believe that their lawyer, or another involved party, is taking care of the proceedings when they are solely responsible for submitting any paperwork, such as witness statements, and attending the final hearing at family court.

It is important to be proactive and stay informed regarding family court hearings.

Even if you have legal representation, you should stay up-to-date on all developments and proceedings, as you may need to attend a hearing or provide additional information.

Failing to attend a family court hearing could result in serious repercussions, including fines or jail time.

5) You didn’t contact your lawyer – A major failure to attend family court hearing UK

When attending a family court hearing, it is important to have the help and advice of a lawyer.

In certain circumstances, you may find that you cannot contact your lawyer before the hearing. This can be for various reasons, such as if you have changed your phone number or if your lawyer has moved offices.

If you are unable to contact your lawyer before the family court hearing, then you must make every effort to attend.

It is also important to inform the court of your attempts to contact your lawyer and provide any evidence you may have, such as text messages or emails, as part of your witness statement.

Representing yourself in a final family court hearing can be difficult without a qualified lawyer’s help and advice. In these cases, it is possible to apply to adjourn the hearing to give yourself time to obtain legal advice. However, it is important to remember that this will not guarantee that your hearing will be adjourne; the judge has the final say.

Ultimately, attending a family court hearing without the assistance of a lawyer is always a risk, so you must make every effort to contact your lawyer before the hearing.

6) You were given incorrect information

Failing to attend a family court hearing can have serious consequences.

One of the top reasons for failure to attend a family court hearing is incorrect information about the proceedings. This may include incorrect information about the date and time of the hearing, as well as the purpose of the hearing.

It’s important to understand that some family court hearings may not be about the case’s final outcome.

The hearing may be for a witness statement or to present evidence.

For example, if you were given incorrect information that the hearing was a final hearing, but it was actually a preliminary hearing, you might miss out on key evidence that could have been present at the final hearing.

If you received incorrect information about the family court hearing, it’s important to contact your lawyer or the court as soon as possible.

They will be able to clarify any confusion and help you prepare for the correct date and time of the hearing. It’s also important to ensure you fully understand the purpose of the hearing and what is expected of you.

7) You were unable to make arrangements for childcare

Families with children attending a family court hearing in the UK have difficulty managing.

Finding suitable childcare and transportation arrangements for children at a family court hearing is difficult. If you cannot make appropriate childcare arrangements, it can lead to failure to attend the family court hearing.

This can result in the court proceedings continuing without you or the hearing being adjourn until another day.

It is important to provide evidence of your attempts to make arrangements for childcare and of any refusal of such services.

You should consider preparing a witness statement that explains why you were unable to attend the final hearing at family court and the efforts you made to make suitable childcare arrangements.

Any proof you can give to show that you tried to arrange childcare should be include in your statement. If you can still not make childcare arrangements, the family court may adjourn the hearing or allow for alternative communication, such as telephone or video link.


Attending family court hearings can be stressful, and it is important to ensure you are prepare.

Missing a hearing in the family court can result in severe consequences, such as being found in contempt of court. To avoid this outcome, ensure you receive the paperwork on time and understand it, contact your lawyer if necessary, and arrange childcare if required. You may also need to provide a witness statement for the final hearing in family court.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you can attend your family court hearing. If you find this article helpful, please don’t forget to share it with your peers.


Q: What happens at final hearing family court?

A: A final hearing family court is the last stage of proceedings in a family law case. During this hearing, the judge will listen to both sides of the story and review any witness statements or evidence that has been present. The judge will then make a ruling on the matter.

Q: How do I prepare for final hearing family court?

A: To prepare for a final hearing family court, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the court proceedings, gather all relevant evidence, such as witness statements, and make sure that you understand your rights and obligations under the law. You should also consult your lawyer to advise how best to present your case.

Q: What happens if I refuse to go to family court?

A: If you refuse to attend a family court hearing, a warrant for your arrest may be issue. Additionally, if the court believes you are deliberately avoiding attending, you may be found in contempt of court and could face penalties such as fines or jail time. The police may come to your home or workplace and take you to court.

Furthermore, your refusal to attend family court can have serious consequences for the outcome of the family court hearing. Without your presence, the court can’t hear your witness statement, and you won’t have an opportunity to dispute the other party’s claims.

It’s, therefore, essential to keep track of when your family court hearing is schedule and to arrive promptly on the day of the final hearing family court.

It’s better to show up than miss out on having your say about important matters related to family law. If you don’t, you could lose out on key aspects of your case being heard in full by the judge presiding over the family court hearing.

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Our Head Solicitor
Khurram Amir Qureshi

Khurram Amir Qureshi has been an advocate of Pakistan since 2004, a Solicitor of England and Wales since 2009, Solicitor of Ireland since 2015. He has extensive experience in family law, Immigration law, Personal injury cases, and Civil and Commercial litigation gaining over 13 years of continuous practice in England and Wales.

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