Posted by Vandana Chitroda, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Family Courts See Rise in Self-Representation
A report published at the end of last month (May) has suggested that almost half of all parents involved in a legal dispute relating to access to their children were going through the court process without having taken any legal advice.
The report, which follows a survey of 500 magistrates, concluded that 46 percent of people with cases in private family courts are now representing themselves; with there being a rise of 40 percent in self-representation in the year between December 2012 and December last year.
Many of the magistrates who took part in the survey stated that they felt that self-representation has a negative impact on proceedings, with 62 percent stating that litigants in person had a negative impact on the court’s work most or all of the time.
Magistrates also raised concerns that self-representation has led to an increase in delay in family proceedings; whilst it also increases the risk of potential unfairness if one parent is self-represented and the other is legally represented.
The rise in self-representation follows changes to legal aid provisions, which came into force in April 2013 and the changes have resulted in fewer people being eligible to financial support in family proceedings.
At Royds, we understand and appreciate the importance of providing honest, impartial and tailored legal advice in family proceedings. It is always important to take legal advice in such proceedings in order to ensure the right outcome and our solicitors are on hand to help.
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