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Hello, my name is Peter and I’ll do my best to assist you today.
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I'm afraid that legal aid is rarely granted in the family court these days, and only exclusively in cases where a party is the victim of domestic abuse.
However, you can represent yourself in the family court, and the fees for going to court are not as high as people imagine.
Would it help if I set out the process of going to court for you here?
No problem at all.
]Mediation has to be the first point of call as it is a legal requirement prior to issuing an application in the family court.
The process is started by booking a mediation assessment appointment - see here for a link to find your local mediator:
http://www.nfm.org.uk/. Assessments are usually around £30-£40, and the mediator will advise as to how many sessions might be required.
Following that, if the mediation does not succeed in a successful resolution, you can apply to the family court for a child arrangements order, setting out the living arrangements and contact arrangements that you would like to see.
This is on form c100:
You send 3 copies of this form to the local family court centre. There will be a court hearing after you send the form in and a family court adviser will be there in attendance too (from CAFCASS).
The application costs £215.00, and you can represent yourself so you don't need to engage a lawyer. You can possibly get a fee exemption if you are on low income/have low savings. You would need to fill out a fee exemption form (http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees)
I hope this helps - can I clarify anything at this stage?
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