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.