Family Court Assistance

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 local court – without any idea of the procedures and legal etiquette you will need to follow. This can be frustrating both for you and the court as well as your former partner or opponent.

However there is an alternative.

The court have for some years allowed people representing themselves (a Litigant in Person) to be assisted by a McKenzie Friend.
A McKenzie friend assists a litigant in person in a court of law in England and Wales. The right to a McKenzie friend was established in the 1970 case of McKenzie v McKenzie.
The court says that McKenzie Friends should be viewed as providing valuable support that improves access to justice in the large majority of cases.

Who are McKenzie Friends?

If you cannot resolve your legal dispute through mediation it may be necessary to make an application to the court to have a situation resolved or, alternative, you may have become a defendant or respondent in legal proceedings. 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.
Our team of McKenzie Friends support children and their families to help resolve family conflict. They are experienced with many having successfully representing themselves in a 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.

We have a selection of experienced and friendly McKenzie Friends able to assist you.

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