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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2848
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My son is soon to go to the Family Court (England)

Resolved Question:

My son is soon to go to the Family Court (England) for a financial settlement hearing on his divorce (instigated by his wife). He is representing himself with all the form filling and correspondence (plus taking specialised legal advice) and he has asked me to represent him at the Court hearing. Will the Court allow me to act as his advocate at the hearing (I am not a lawyer, but I have had a lot of experience in Court and Tribunal procedures)? Could you give me some advice on the general procedure in the Family Court.Thanks *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. In order to provide you a full answer please confirm if the upcoming hearing is the First Appointment hearing?In relation to you attending the hearing - usually, litigants in person are allowed to have a McKenzie Friend who assists them in the hearing - ultimately it is for the judge to agree that you can act as a McKenzie Friend to assist at the hearing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes this is the first hearing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is a McKenzie Friend?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
A McKenzie Friend is someone who supports and assists an unrepresented party at court. So they can speak on their behalf to the judge. You will be considered a McKenzie Friend for the court's purposes. At the First Appointment, the court will consider what further evidence is required before negotiations for a settlement start. Prior to the hearing, the parties must exchange Forms E, with all relevant financial documents and once this is exchanged, they are required to exchange questionnaires about the disclosure, and request for further documents/information (if they feel it is necessary). Parties will also need to each prepare a chronology (timeline of significant events) and a statement of issues (what the court needs to deal with). Usually these should be agreed between the parties, but each party can submit their own.At the hearing the court will see if all the necessary disclosure has been made, such as complete Forms E, reasonable questions asked in the questionnaire and any valuations of properties or pensions - if not, the court will make directions for these.I hope this clarifies the next steps. If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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