Who We Are
Our nationwide team of McKenzie Friend experts can assist and advise you before and during your court proceedings.
McKenzie Friends are most often used for support in Mediation and Family cases, but feel free to ask our experts whether we’re the best option in your case.
However, for many people we help, the motivation is not mainly financial, but a desire to be in complete control of their case.
We help you to prepare your case, most of which can be done by email and phone and we will do as much or as little as you need us to.
If parents rush to achieve a legal solution after relationship breakdown this is often disastrous for both of them and their children. The adversarial nature of the court process usually leads to polarisation and entrenchment of both parties.
Combined with the delays and costs of court proceedings, mediation is always the better option.
Mediation can play a pivotal role in helping parents work together to achieve a workable solution without going to court.
On 5/4/2011, new court rules came into effect which require anyone considering making a court application to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting first of all.
Where the application is urgent, or no mediator is available in the area within 15 days, or certain other exceptions apply, this requirement can be waived, and an application can be made to court immediately.
We can guide you through this mediation process.
Help at Court
Representing yourself in Family Proceedings is not as difficult as it might appear at first.
If you earn too much to qualify for Legal Aid, but not enough to afford the fees of solicitors and barristers, then representing yourself in court, with our help as your McKenzie Friend, can be a viable alternative.
For many people we help, the motivation is not mainly financial, but a desire to be in complete control of their case.
We help you to prepare your case, most of which can be done by email and phone and we will do as much or as little as you need us to. Once you have told us about your case, we can advise on:
- Communications with the other parent and/or their solicitor.
- Which are your strongest arguments and how best to present them in court
- Paperwork you will need to produce for hearings
- If there are any case precedents which will help you case, we will tell you and provide copies.
- We can prepare court application forms and email them to you, to take along to the court office
- We can coach you on how to conduct yourself in court
- We can attend court with you, and sit alongside you quietly offering advice and support during the hearing.
Rest assured that if we think you need to employ solicitors and barristers then we will recommend you take that route instead of using our help. This may be appropriate depending on the circumstances of your case.
Full Guidance about McKenzie Friends
Read our full guidance guide about McKenzie friends here…
Frequently Asked Questions
Court proceedings are adversarial and provoke hostility between separated parents.
Our aim is to keep children issues out of court, by brokering agreement between the parents – we are pro-active and look more widely than just the legal process.
Solicitors are also very expensive, and we think we provide much better value for money.
Many people also prefer to avoid solicitors because they are then in complete control of their case.
If you are represented by a solicitor, you cannot be sure they will always fully understand your situation and may inadvertently present your case in a less than optimal manner.
When you represent yourself, you always know you have said exactly the right thing to present your case in the best possible light.
There is no need for most people to engage a solicitor in family law cases.
All you need is good, sensible advice from someone who has experience of the system and knows how to get the results you want for your children.
Don’t worry, if we think you do need to use a solicitor and barrister we will tell you and help point you towards the services you need.
Yes, representing yourself in court can be daunting, but having a McKenzie friend by your side to advise and assist can help a great deal and get your case across to the court.
Many people will act as a McKenzie Friend without charge.
However, it is not possible to do McKenzie work full-time and still pay the bills!
We need to charge a reasonable amount to cover our costs and compensate us for our time.
- The Court Service
- Ackers & Co, Solicitors (if you need a solicitor rather than a McKenzie Friend)
- Love Barristers (if you need a Barrister rather than a McKenzie Friend)
- The Custody Minefield (for e-guides on shared parenting)
- Equal Parenting Alliance
- Real Fathers For Justice
- Society of Professional McKenzie Friends Ltd