One of the most difficult things that you may have to is to sort out matters once a marriage or relationships ends. It is a very stressful time and you may need to seek advice. For many the first action is to seek this help from a solicitor which can be prohibitively expensive. The alternative path due to the currency of a disappearing legal aid support mechanism in litigation is that, one is left with little option but to represent oneself. On the other hand there is a third way, and that is the use and the support of a Mckenzie Friend (MF).
We are a London based McKenzie Friend service, and have a select group of McKenzie Friends with decades of personal and third party support experience. Since the early days when the case of McKenzie vs McKenzie (CA) 1970 (connect this to the case itself), was informally codified that a ‘litigant in person’, had the right, as first elucidated by
Lord Tenterden C.J., and as handed down by Davies LJ., in the above eponymous case the following;
Our attention was called by Mr. Payne to some words of Lord Tenterden C.J., used many years ago in Collier v. Hicks (1831) 2 B. & Ad. 663. I need not go in any detail into the question of fact which arose in that case.…….Lord Tenterden C.J., in the course of giving the first judgment said, at p. 669:
“Any person, whether he be a professional man or not, may attend as
a friend of either party, may take notes, may quietly make suggestions, and give advice; but no one can demand to take part in the proceedings
as an advocate, contrary to the regulations of the court as settled by the
discretion of the justices.”
That was, although obiter, a statement by Lord Tenterden C.J. that any person may attend as a friend and may take notes and make suggestions.
Further support has been given to the McKenzie structure by the President of the Family Division Sir Nicholas Wall, through the ‘Practice Guidance: McKenzie Friends (Civil and Family Courts)’, 12 July 2010
As experienced McKenzie Friends we will attend with you as your McKenzie Friend, we will as the ‘Practice Guidance’ suggests be permitted to support you in court; we will help with case papers, take notes, and make quiet suggestions, to assist you in your hearing, and above all give a much needed moral support to enable you to conduct your case with confidence.
The Family Courts deal with many aspects Family Litigation, and one of the most stressful
has to do with Children Matters, as MF’s we will work sensitively with you to ensure the best
possible outcome be it for contact orders, shared or joint residence orders, prohibited steps
orders, or specific issue order issues. It is our goal that you maintain a loving relationship
with your children even after the trauma of divorce proceedings. We will endeavour to
support you in the face of ‘implacable hostility’ by your former partner, we will try to ensure
as few as possible the diretions hearing by the courts to enable you to proceed ahead to a final
hearing within the parameters of the court directions guidelines.
Though not always possible the best way forward are if possible by orders of consent
between both parties.
As a divorced parent this should not mean that the resident should be permitted to divorce the right of a child to receive love from the non-resident parent by unscrupulously using the court mechanism. There are many studies that show that child centred nurture is the sunshine a child needs to emotionally grow, in order for this fertile growth to take place parents should have equal standing in the childs formative growth years. It should be the responsibility and duty of both parents in relation to the obligations of caring and for the provision of financial succour for the well-being of the child. Our goal for an absent parent is to achieve this for them with as little as possible of any long drawn out adversarial court hearings.