You can take your case to court yourself instead of using a lawyer (solicitor or barrister). For most people, the court and the way it works is unfamiliar. So make sure you are clear about the steps you need to take, including what the court will need to have before any hearing.

Court staff can’t give you advice but there are other ways to find out what you need to do. You could contact

Or you could have a short session with a family lawyer  or look at helpful information from organisations such as the Bar Council. Find out what help is available for you, including emotional support if you need it.

When looking for advice and guidance, remember:

  • Get advice early if there are any concerns about safety of any party involved in the case.
  • Make sure you understand what the process of going through court might cost you.
  • The court will expect forms or other court documents to be properly prepared.and you’ll want to make sure you have a good case.
  • Courts are very busy places and there can be limited time to deal with things. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be for the Judge and court staff to help you. So make sure you get an understanding of how the court works.
  • If your ex is using a solicitor, then that solicitor may also contact you. In many cases, this is a helpful part of the process and may help to clarify or even resolve some of the issues before the court hearing. However, solicitors are bound by strict rules about client confidentiality so may not be able to provide all the information you ask for. They also have to check with their client as to whether, if, and how they should respond to any communication from you.
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