[Solved] The Family Court without a Lawyer
@mr-pink good points. I self-represented last time round. for me the biggest disadvantage is the ex's lawyer is responsible for drafting order and they can act in under-handed way, like ignore your emails when you ask to see draft order. I left hearing accepting that I would get video call with kids once a week. so when I got the order, it stated telephone call. It was a remote hearing.
That’s the typical type of underhandedness the solicitors will do to get you coming back for more. It’s beyond believe that the opposing parties solicitors are in a position to produce a draft copy of the court order. Surely this is a conflict of interest!
One thing I do know is that you are entitled to review the draft court prior to it being filed with the court as a litigant in person.
I’m presuming in your case you can challenge the court order if video calls were discussed and agreed in the court hearing (irrespective of being at court in person or on Teams, Skype etc) it will be clear on the courts transcript?
Personally I would be writing a letter to the solicitor telling them they have it wrong and sending a copy to the judge outlining that if you had the opportunity of seeing the draft court order before it was filed this could have been picked up earlier either way it needs amending. I would also refer to and add copies of any ignored emails requesting a copy of the draft order with no reply. Put it this way if the judge seeks clarification with your ex’s solicitor and she refuses a video call then it’s not going to show her in a good light for the interest of the children.
Successfully representing yourself in family court is not impossible.
The first thing to determine is whether or not you need a solicitor and for what? If your divorce or seperation is complex then you may want to use a solicitor for the divorce/financial settlement but not for child arrangement order.
If you want to represent yourself you should learn the following for each relevant court application:
-What is the court process? Number of hearings.
-What information/evidence do the court need at each hearing, and what decisions do they have powers to make at each hearing.
If the answer is yes to at least 2 of the below then you could represent yourself for one or more court applications.
Do I have time and energy to learn about family law?
Am I emotionally intelligent and calm enough to be taunted by my ex into doing something silly or writing regrettable emails.
Am I capable of structuring arguments?
Do I have confidence to defend myself or put requests before a judge in person?