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Representing Yourself

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.

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