You may wish to represent yourself rather than instruct solicitors to present your case for you. In legal language, you would be a litigant in person.
If you do so, you can get advice and help to enable you to prepare your case and give you moral support. This could be a friend or someone else who is not a barrister or solicitor but has some knowledge of how the family courts work. Anyone who comes to court with you in any of these roles is called a McKenzie Friend. You would need to ask the judge's permission that they can come into court with you before the hearing.
A McKenzie friend can do the following:
- Come into court with you.
- Take notes.
- Quietly give advice.
- Offer emotional support.
A McKenzie friend cannot do the following:
- Speak on your behalf (unless the Judge expressly asks them to do so).
- Act or sign documents on your behalf.