The Family Justice Council has released two instructional videos aimed at litigants in person in the family courts.
The first, How to represent yourself in family court, offers general advice to individuals contemplating appearing in court without a lawyer. It is based on feedback from people who have already represented themselves and specifically aims to address those issues they found most worrying.
The second film addresses the famous Form E, the financial statement used by the family courts to assess the assets of divorcing couples. The video provides advice on how to complete the form correctly without legal advice.
Both videos are available on independent charitable website Advicenow.
The Family Justice Council is an non-departmental advisory body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice.
These videos may be helpful for some and are obviously well-intentioned, but it is such a sad reflection of the current state of affairs that people are being placated with this type of material instead of a professional who knows the procedures both in and out of court -someone most of all who knows the law. Take Form E for example – this is a complex document and it’s important that it is completed correctly. However much this legal aid-slashing government may wish it, generalisation will never be an adequate substitute for personal legal advice.