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Position Statement vs. Evidential Statement: Understanding the Difference in Family Court


Witness statements

Introduction


Family court proceedings involve various legal documents and statements that play a crucial role in presenting a case and influencing the court's decision. Two key types of statements used in family court proceedings are the position statement and the evidential statement. While both serve important purposes, they differ in their content, purpose, and timing within the legal process. In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between a position statement and an evidential statement in family court proceedings.


Position Statement: Presenting Your Position


A position statement is a document prepared by a party involved in family court proceedings to outline their position on the issues being addressed for each hearing. It is a concise and clear summary of the party's stance, arguments, and proposed resolutions in addition to any directions they are asking the court to make. A position statement is typically prepared before a court hearing and is not accompanied by supporting evidence.


Key Features of a Position Statement:


1. Summary of Your Case: A position statement provides a succinct and brief overview of your position on the key issues relevant to the case, whether it is in child contact or financial proceedings in divorce.


2. Arguments and Legal Points: It allows you to present your arguments and legal points supporting your position. This may involve referencing relevant legislation, case law, or legal principles. In many cases however where parties represent themselves it may simply contain the factual points that the court needs to understand in order to apply the law against them.


3. Proposed Resolutions: A position statement can outline any proposals or recommendations you have for resolving the issues in dispute. This helps the court understand your preferred outcomes and possible areas of agreement.


4. Clarity and Conciseness: A position statement should be well-structured, clear, and concise, focusing on the main points without delving into detailed evidential matters.


Evidential Statement: Presenting Evidence and Facts


An evidential statement, also known as a witness statement, is a more detailed document that provides evidence and facts to support your case. It is a written statement of evidence from a witness, which can be yourself or other individuals involved in the proceedings. An evidential statement is prepared before a court hearing and is typically accompanied by supporting documents, such as photographs, medical reports, or financial records.


Key Features of an Evidential Statement:


1. Detailed Narrative: An evidential statement presents a detailed narrative of the facts and events relevant to the case. It allows you to present your side of the story, providing a chronological account of what has occurred.


2. Supporting Evidence: It includes supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, financial records, or expert reports, that substantiate the facts and evidence presented in the statement.


3. Witness Testimony: An evidential statement may include witness testimony, where individuals who have direct knowledge of the events provide their account of what happened.


4. Legal Compliance: An evidential statement should adhere to legal requirements, such as signing and dating the statement, confirming the truthfulness of the evidence, and ensuring the statement is properly served on all relevant parties.


Conclusion


In family court proceedings, a position statement and an evidential statement serve distinct purposes. A position statement provides a summary of your position, arguments, and proposed resolutions, whereas an evidential statement presents detailed evidence, facts, and supporting documents to substantiate your case. Understanding the difference between these two types of statements is crucial for effectively presenting your case in family court. Consultation with a family law legal advisor can provide guidance on preparing both types of statements, ensuring they are tailored to the specific requirements of your case and adhere to the legal standards of the court.


If you need further advice and support with your statement, get in touch




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