Just the thought of going through the Family Court process can feel intimidating when you know nothing or very little about family law. You’re bound to have those niggling doubts. Could you end up making matters worse by starting a battle you can’t win? Do you have any hope of getting the judge to agree to what you want? Can you even afford to go to court?
These are questions I hear a lot. Healthy, normal questions you should be asking, and questions that I hope I can help you answer.
So, the first thing to deal with here is the question about your chance of success. Is this a battle you can win? Without eyes on your case or on you, I can’t say of course. What I can say though is that you do need a reasonable set of demands to stand a chance of getting anywhere.
Most people just want a legally-binding set of arrangements that their ex can’t ignore, or change when it suits them. So, if you have a problem reaching an agreement and feel that your demands are reasonable, then with proper preparation, you have as much right as the next person to ask the Family Court to help.
You’ll hear that the Family Court is the last resort, and it’s true, but it also exists for good reason and you shouldn’t shy away from using it if it’s necessary. Don’t forget, when it comes to child arrangements and financial settlements, going to Family Court is the only way to make sure any arrangements have legal legitimacy. Legally safeguarding child arrangements is also in the best interests of the child. That’s surely going to make things better not worse, right?
Moreover, the independent decision-making process of the court can also bring a sense of fairness and objectivity to emotionally charged situations. It can draw a line under everything, set the boundaries, and help everyone move on. However, as wholesome as this sounds, you do need to be aware of all the ways in which fairness can be undermined by a determined ex-partner – so don’t kid yourself and be prepared for that worse-case scenario.
That brings us neatly on to your last question. Can you afford to go court? Surely, you’ll need a hotshot solicitor to do battle with your ex and their hotshot solicitor? Well, yes, Family Court can cost thousands if you decide to ask a family law firm solicitor to represent you. Solicitor’s legal fees quickly add up and put a strain on you and everyone else involved. So, if Family Court is necessary, it’s important to consider carefully the possibility of representing yourself for most if not all of your case. If you do, the costs are negligible.
It very likely that financial circumstances dictate and you don’t have a choice, but you shouldn’t despair. Many thousands of people represent themselves and do so successfully. Seeking the most practical and affordable way of doing anything in life is always sensible.
Remember, navigating the Family Court process requires patience, resilience, and a proactive approach. By equipping yourself with knowledge about court procedures, learning the necessary skills to prepare well, and reaching out for reliable advice and guidance as and when you need it, you are taking steps towards success in advocating for yourself and your loved ones.
Why not start by looking at the practical option of learning what you need to know to represent yourself? You could start by looking at my Should I Go to Family Court? Guide which is the first of a series of guides created to provide people with the specific information they need. Based on information I know litigants need and want, I have made these guides affordable, clear, and focused so that people pay a small amount for the guidance they need and nothing more.
Making that decision to apply to the Family Court is a difficult one and it’s essential to have reliable expert information in a quick and simple format to help you make the right decisions.
Decide if you should make that Family Court application by investing in my self-help guide. Let Simon Walland Family Law empower you with the knowledge you need for a more informed and efficient legal journey.