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Site updated 2 June 2013
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What is a McKenzie Friend?
A McKenzie Friend is not usually legally qualified but they are able to offer lay advice and support to you, as a Litigant in Person, before and during Court hearings. If your case does need to go to Court, you will need to be able to present your case in the Courtroom. As well as helping you to prepare your case a McKenzie Friend may sit with you in Court and quietly offer you advice and support as well as taking notes. In some circumstances a Judge may allow your McKenzie Friend to help present your case and speak for you.
Find a McKenzie Friend.
Below is a list of independent McKenzie Friend Organisations men’s Aid has both worked with and recommends:
The list of McKenzie Friends above is provided for information only. Men’s Aid make no professional assessment or guarantee in respect of any of the details listed above or in respect of any service provided. Men’s Aid does not warrant or accept liability for the quality of information they offer, and cannot consider complaints about information given in relation to Court proceedings or any other advice you may have been provided with.
McKenzie Friend Update.
Since April 2103, when Legal Aid was removed from most Family Proceeding, there has been a tremendous growth in the number of McKenzie Friends assisting Litigant’s in Person to the extent that we feel it would be unfair to promote individual McKenzie Friends here. Instead Men’s Aid has researched some organisations that operate with a number of McKenzie Friends, particularly those who work together collaboratively to both promote a professional image of McKenzie Friends, work as a charity or have been highly recommended to Men's Aid by our members.
Court Without a Lawyer.
It’s best not to go to court at all. These things should be resolved through agreement, but if that doesn’t work you don’t have to instruct a solicitor to represent you in Family Courts. You can do it yourself. Acting in person with us to assist as your McKenzie Friend will cost about 10% of what you would have paid a solicitor. It also means you keep control of the proceedings yourself, rather than handing over responsibility for the most important things in your life, your family and your home, to a stranger, a lawyer.
Family Law Advice Centre.
Family Law Advice Centre provides guidance and support throughout your divorce or separation and associated child access or financial issues. Backed up by years of experience and training, we offer solid, sound legal advice at a fraction of the cost of a solicitor. We provide initial advice on your case free of charge, and are able to guide you through every step of what is probably one of the most traumatic times in your life.
McKenzie Friend Organisation.
Provide information and advice to all parents who are seeking to maintain a full, meaningful and responsible, relationship with their children after family break down or divorce. We aim to assist those parents in their endeavours to achieve equal and just treatment in the Family Courts and from their associated services. Our aim: to provide reassurance, guidance and support for you and your family during your difficult and challenging journey. We will be there to assist you throughout this process.
The Custody Mine Field.
Our guides are for separating or separated parents whose children live in England and Wales. Our intention is to provide you with a complete database of practical family law information. Don't panic! We take you step by step through family law related to children. Everything you need, at your fingertips, from court forms to templates for documents... guides, case law, tips and information to help you make informed choices. Don't be overwhelmed... while we provide information on a wide range of scenarios and situations, hopefully you won´t experience many of these, but if you do, or you worry you may, our resources will help.
Recommended - Information Sources and Further Reading.