Support When Attending Court

You can attend court without the assistance of a solicitor if you feel that you can handle your case alone. If you still need some support, you could use a McKenzie Friend.

Support When Attending Court

When you go to court, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re prepared.  You don’t need to have a solicitor with you and you may find that not using a colicitor may actually be beneficial.  For a start, you won’t have to pay extortionate fees to a solicitor to do something that you can actually do for yourself and you won’t need to worry about chasing up a solicitor or being delayed because you can’t get hold of your solicitor.

Self Representation

If you are representing yourself then you are known as a Litigant in Person.  With the cessation of Legal Aid where some people were entitled to financial support towards the use of a solicitor, it is now becoming more common for people to represent themselves in court.  You won’t be treated any differently than if you had a solicitor but because you are not legally trained, you may simply find that you have to do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions in the right places before you get to court.

Support in Court

It’s really important that you leave people outside the courtroom if they have a vested interest in the case.  It’s inappropriate to take a new partner to court for example as the case about your children should be about you and the child’s other parent.  Bringing other people with you, especially a new partner may be seen to be either causing trouble or that you can’t cope alone.  If you must take someone with you, you should choose a friend who is able to help to keep you calm or preferably someone who is knowledgeable in law.  Often, you will not be allowed to take anyone else into the courtroom with you but if you have a McKenzie Friend, you will need to tell the court that you want to bring them into the court room with you and then it will be up to the courtroom staff to decide whether or not you should be allowed to do this.

What Can A McKenzie Friend Do?

If you are allowed to take a McKenzie Friend into court with you, you should be aware that they will not be able to speak for you, address the court or cross examine the other party.  What they can do is take notes for you, help you do organise your documents and pass you the right document when you need to refer to it.

I am a Law student, currently studying a Masters of Law postgraduate Degree. I have helped many families to navigate the complicated pathway of family court and am passionate about helping people to establish a good co-parenting relationship as well as a great relationship with their child. Being part of a blended family herself, I have a great deal of experience when it comes to separated families and believe that money should not be an obstacle to contact with your children. I came up with the idea of passing on my knowledge of the legal system after speaking to numerous people about their struggles with the family court and speaking to fathers in particular who had been denied contact with their child by their ex who were not aware that they could self represent or how to go about that. My goal is to ensure that there is enough information available to parents to help them to self represent in court if they are not entitled to legal aid. Of course, I have bills to pay like everyone else, including costs to run this site, so there are some things that I ask a fee for. In addition to this, I invite anyone who has found my site useful in their case and has managed to save money by not needing to appoint a solicitor to donate whatever they can to help me to cover some of the costs of running this site. All donations are welcome, no matter how small.

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