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Issue Resolution Hearing

Issue Resolution Hearings are also sometimes referred to as pre-hearing reviews or simply by their initials... IRH.

Commonly held before a finding of fact and/or final hearing in a more complex case (also see our guide to the Dispute Resolution Appointment) , the court will attempt to see what matters are resolved, and which are still in dispute.

Case management decisions may also be taken, such as decisions as to whether a finding of fact hearing is necessary, and what evidence must be considered at the future hearing to help the court make its decision. This can involve deciding whether witnesses, experts or social workers/CAFCASS Officers involved in the case must attend to be cross-examined by the parties or their legal representatives.

The judge and parties may also discuss how long the finding of fact needs to be. Decisions would include time estimates for the judge to read case paperwork, for the parties to make their submissions, for cross-examination and presenting evidence etc. From this, the court will decide how long the finding of fact or final hearing needs to be (which can range from hours to days depending on the amount of evidence to be heard, number of issues in dispute and the overall complexity of the case.

At the end of the IRH, the judge may make a Case Management Order setting out the steps the parties must take before the next hearing.

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Michael Robinson © 2014

Family law information for parents whose children are resident in England and Wales

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