Family court representation

If you need to go to court for a decision on a family matter, our solicitors will make sure you have the best legal representation. We have extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of family law, including arrangements for children, divorce, separation and finances, and domestic abuse.

What is the Family Court?

The Family Court deals with legal issues arising from family relationships. When cases reach court, they are managed by magistrates and judges who are specifically trained in family law. Hearings can feel informal with everybody sitting around a table together. The aim is to keep matters calm and non-confrontational.

With family disputes, parties are encouraged to resolve issues outside court whenever possible. This is usually with the support of a family solicitor or a mediator.

It is thought that when parties reach an agreement themselves, they are more likely to stick to it. Negotiation and mediation often continue alongside family court proceedings.

What cases are heard in the Family Court?

The Family Court hears matters including: 

  • Adoption 
  • Child arrangements  
  • Child abuse, protection and safeguarding 
  • Child abductions
  • Cohabitee disputes
  • Civil partnership dissolution 
  • Divorce 
  • Domestic violence  
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) 
  • Forced marriage 
  • Special guardianship 
  • Surrogacy
  • Financial settlements following separation/divorce 

This list is not exhaustive. Most matters involving disputes within families can be settled in the Family Court. 

Should you consider representing yourself in court?

You have the right to represent yourself in court without a legal professional. Someone who represents themselves in court is known as a ‘litigant in person’.  

You might consider representing yourself in court because you would rather speak to the judge yourself or because you cannot afford legal fees. However, it is best to seek legal advice if you can, as family law proceedings can become complicated. If the other party has legal representation, you might be concerned that they have an advantage over you.

If you are worried about legal costs, it is worth finding out whether you are eligible for legal aid. As well as covering representation in court, legal aid can cover the cost of legal advice and family mediation.

Another way to keep legal costs down is to instruct a solicitor to carry out some of the work on your case but complete other parts yourself. Our family lawyers can advise you on a specific aspect of your case, draft a particular document on your behalf, or represent you in court. We will always be clear about what our service includes to help you organise your finances. 

These are some benefits of instructing a solicitor: 

  • If your case involves children, you are likely to be contacted by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). CAFCASS will carry out a detailed assessment of your family, and the judge will make their decision largely based on this report. To increase the chance of a positive outcome, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice. 
  • The evidence to support your case needs to be strong enough to stand up to scrutiny in court. A solicitor will make sure you have hard evidence to back up your claims. 
  • Legal procedures can be complicated. Any misunderstandings or errors can make the process longer and more costly. An experienced family solicitor will ensure the process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. 
  • Laws are always changing. Your solicitor will be fully up-to-date with family law. They will prepare and present your case in accordance with relevant changes. 

Most importantly, you will have access to professional advice from an experienced solicitor whenever you need it.  

Do you need a solicitor or a barrister?

The main difference between a solicitor and a barrister is that a barrister only usually sees clients in court.

When you need advice about a family law matter, your first point of contact is a solicitor. A family law solicitor will prepare your case and guide you through the legal process. A solicitor will often represent you in court, but sometimes they will refer your case to a barrister. The barrister will then act as your mouthpiece by presenting your case in court.

Our family solicitors at Davisons usually represent our clients in court hearings. This means you have a single point of contact for the duration of your case. As your solicitor will have got to know you and handled your case from the beginning, they will be a strong advocate for you.

Sometimes we do refer cases to barristers. For example, in child proceedings, where a final hearing is a contested hearing, a barrister has the specialist skills to cross-examine a witness and present a persuasive case to the judge or a complex financial case.

Have a question or need some help?

Do you need representation in the Family Court?

Davisons family solicitors have the training and years of experience to provide you with first-class representation in court. We can handle your entire case from start to end or just be there to advise you as and when needed.

When children are involved, we understand legal proceedings can be especially stressful. We resolve issues sensitively and with care so your children do not suffer any additional distress.

Our solicitors provide a personal service tailored to your situation. We will do everything possible to achieve the very best outcome for you and your family.

  • Results

    We believe that we are the best, industry leaders and market innovators. We have your back, whether you are moving into your dream home or needing a complex family divorce.
  • Where and when you need us

    Local offices and dedicated people who are accessible, friendly and here to help.
  • Experts in what we do

    We have the best people to help you, high skilled and vastly experienced. We’ll provide you with clear advice, not just options so that you can see a clear way forward.
  • Accreditations

    We have several accreditations that ensure the legal advice we provide is of the highest standards.

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