It is becoming increasingly more common for parties to self-litigate rather than use a solicitor to assist and advise them through family law matters.
There is currently a former police chief inspector who is setting up a website in an attempt to convince people to act as litigants in person with the help of a McKenzie Friend. It is understood that he has also recruited other former police officers who are willing to help litigants in person with family law matters.
He believes that family lawyers are not needed in the family court and that there are no legal questions in family proceedings.
At Emery Johnson Solicitors we do not agree with this and believe that most lawyers and Judges would also feel the same way. Family law is based on statutes, case law and legal provisions and case law. These are not always written in a way which is easy to understand and interpret. Also, many people going through a breakdown in their relationship struggle emotionally and often continue to have other ongoing life matters that they need to deal with at the same time. Due to this, it can often leave people in a vulnerable position as they are unable to think objectively.
We believe that it is important to have expert advice from a lawyer who has qualifications and understands the complexities of the law. That is not what you can expect from a McKenzie Friend as they are not legally qualified and do not have any legal background.
The police officer is just one example of this as he does not or has not dealt with family law. He may be an expert in criminal matters but does not have the knowledge that is required to deal with family proceedings.
It is important that anybody going through a relationship breakdown is cautious when using McKenzie Friends, as ultimately they are charging you £60 – £100 per hour for their time, not their skills, legal knowledge or legal advice in family law.
At Emery Johnson Astills, we have specialist family lawyers who are highly qualified and well experienced in family law and who are able to provide their knowledge, advice and expertise. We are able to prepare court documents and have a duty to update our skills and knowledge base. Therefore, we are able to provide up to date information relevant to your specific issue.
If you are going through a relationship breakdown, or want some advice before considering separation or divorce please contact one of our specialist family lawyers at Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 255 4855.