First fixture – Second fixture hearings

The court lists the final hearing of a divorce financial application for two dates.

The earlier of the two dates is a ‘second fixture’.  The hearing only goes ahead if the ‘first fixture’ hearing listed for that day has dropped out of the list (perhaps because the case has settled, or the parties have agreed on an adjournment for some reason).  You only find out if your hearing is going ahead after 4pm on the day before the hearing.

If you don’t get heard on your ‘second fixture’ date, you get heard on your ‘first fixture’ date.

the system is designed to avoid wasting the judge’s time.  I’m sure it achieves that aim.  From the point of view of the client and their lawyers, it’s a dreadful system.