Legal help

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  • #64513 Report

    Singlemum2015
    Participant

    I’m in desperate help of legal advice but on low income. Can anyone point me on the right direction please

    #64518 Report

    Andrew uk
    Participant

    Contact a McKenzie Friend.

    #64519 Report

    Andrew uk
    Participant

    Much cheaper than a solicitor and great advice.

    #64526 Report

    GingerbreadHelen
    Keymaster

    Hi @Singlemum2015, I’ve sent you a private message to find out more about your situation so I can signpost you to advice. Best regards

    #64534 Report

    *deleted user*
    Participant

    The following may help:

    If you are facing the family court – firstly, try not to be intimidated. Although the staff there cannot give legal advice, what they can do is provide advice on correct procedure and explain to you the correct forms to use – and for example how to deal with a remote hearing. You can also check admin wise that you have done the right thing.

    Send all and every letter to the family court by recorded delivery and keep your receipts safely.  Whether or not you are able to use a solicitor – make sure you keep your paperwork in order in a file. Treat the whole thing like a part time job and once things are put away in your file, try to switch off from it as it may become overwhelming otherwise.

    Staying with the family court – depending on where you are in the country you can ask them if they have a volunteer service (usually these are advanced law students who wish to gain experience – members of this service can accompany you to court, or if it is a remote hearing due to covid – appear on the screen with you). You have to register for this service in advance.

    Mackenzie friends are something different. They are grouped together on a website – google it. Some of these charge for their services. Some don’t.

    Most people start with thirty minutes free advice from solicitors on the phone or in person. Try to speak to more than one, don’t sign any kind of agreement through the post until you have looked at it thoroughly. Take your time.

    Basic procedure in the family court goes like this for a timeline:

    a) divorce

    b) children’s matters

    c) financial and property matters.

    Depending on whether or not you have kids, or property/assets to deal with obviously the reason why children’s matters are prioritised is kind of obvious, to minimise disruptions going forward.

    Not many people get legal aid nowadays, but you can, especially if you have suffered domestic abuse and have a letter from someone working in the field (i.e you have been in a refuge etc). If you have suffered d.A you are not required to do mediation.

    Basically, the best approach to take is to inform yourself – and learn as much as you can from sources named in order to cut costs at solicitor who, under normal circumstances charge 300 quid an hour odd.

    By staying organised, understanding as much as you can and checking things with free advice, you can do this.

    There is also the Citizens Advice Bureau online and on telephone/in person. Also there is an organisation called Rights of Women who are brilliant but difficult to get hold of on the phone as they are often busy.

    Finally, there is a charity called ‘Surviving Economic Abuse’ – which do not give legal advice but help with the behavioural aspects of any kind of abuse, which often the courts don’t get as they deal with procedural stuff only.

    And mumsnet is a fierce kind of forum in a way, but if you are genuinely struggling they have a legal section where if you post a question they are quite quick to get back to you.

    That is a lot to process, everything I’ve said. Divorces can take in court possibly between two years and seven I’ve heard worst case scenario so at every stage it is important to look after yourself.

    As far as abuse is concerned, that is tough on every level especially with rape convictions through the courts only succeeding at  rate of five per cent because the proof thresholds are set so high. Criminal courts in this respect are a mess, quite frankly and that is even publicly acknowledged.

    Very best of luck.

    Sure if you are struggling with the detail or how you feel about it as a single parent posting on here might help too.

    ww

    #64535 Report

    *deleted user*
    Participant

    Oh and most importantly – if you get legal aid or not – and even if you are feeling intimidated with the courts, remember that you are employing your solicitor and they are there to serve you.

    So be clear about what you want and what you don’t want – and to use legal jargon tell your solicitors this (give them instructions) accordingly.

    If you don’t understand why your solicitors are doing something, double check it with free sources.

    Solicitors make money by billing you for every email/phone call etc. So if you can minimise contact with them this is wise.

    If you have an emotionally abusive ex partner be aware that they will play games with your solicitor i.e not respond to solicitors letters etc just so that you will be charged extra. It is sad but be prepared for this tactic.

    You can do this!

    #64573 Report

    steve3334
    Participant

    Get help paying court and tribunal fees

    You might be able to get money off your court or tribunal fees if you have little or no savings, are on certain benefits or have a low income. See the Gov.uk website.

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by GingerbreadHelen. Reason: Removed formatting code
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by GingerbreadHelen. Reason: removed hyperlink
    #64583 Report

    *deleted user*
    Participant

    Good point Steve. If you can’t understand the government website, and sometimes it is full of jargon, do phone the Family court and ask about what Steve is saying. Especiall if you have got a disability they are keen to help at least where I am. Usually you pay the money up front for example to put a form in by debit card and then claim in back. It doesn’t take that long but they should be able to tell you exactly how long.

     

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