From 1 April 2013 you may be unable to obtain Legal Aid and, without funds, find access to a solicitor to assist you resolve a family dispute; for example with regards to parenting time with your children, separation or divorce.
Without Legal Aid, or funds to pay a Solicitor, you may well need an alternative way of preparing for a visit to your Family Court - without any idea of the procedures and legal etiquette you will need to follow. This can be frustrating both for you and the Family Court as well as your former partner.
However there is an alternative
The Family Court has for some years allowed people representing themselves (a Litigant in Person) to be assisted by a McKenzie Friend.
We have a selection of experienced and friendly McKenzie Friends able to assist you.
McKenzie Friends - What are they?
If you cannot resolve your family dispute through Mediation it may be necessary to make an Application to the Family Court to have a situation resolved by the Court.
Often you may find yourself being taken to Court by your ex-partner and may have little choice. It can be extremely expensive to engage a Solicitor to help you and Legal Aid is only available in special cases. If you elect to become a Litigant in Person you will need to be able to present your own case to the Court and this can be a daunting task both before, during and afterwards.
A McKenzie Friend can best be described as anyone who accompanies you to Court to help you as a Litigant in Person - those who are unrepresented by a Solicitor or engage a Barrister. Your McKenzie Friend is able to sit with you in the Court and offer advice and support as well as taking notes to help you.
There are some things that a McKenzie Friend cannot do on your behalf, such as conduct litigation, file Court documents and Statements etc. There is a Practice Direction issued by the Family Court which explains this in more detail.
Our team of McKenzie Friends support Families and their Children to help resolve family conflict. They are experienced with many having successfully representing themselves in a Family Court as a Litigant in Person. Others are professionally trained - some are qualified as a paralegal and others with a Law degree or other professional qualification.
Never underestimate the benefit of just talking through your situation with somebody who has experienced this situation and process before.
Click on the image below to go to our McKenzie Friends page for more detailed information.
Each of our McKenzie Friends operates as an independent businesses working collaboratively to assist Litigants in Person through the minefield of Family Court to help you gain a positive outcome for you and your family.