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Litigants in Person

Statistics show that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of private law cases relating to children that are being commenced in the family courts. At the same time, there has also been a big rise in the percentage of these cases that involve at least one ‘litigant in person’ i.e. somebody who is having to represent themselves in the proceedings because they have been unable to secure legal aid and are unable to afford a lawyer.

In this regard, changes to the rules in 2013 mean that it is now much harder to secure legal aid in the context of family law proceedings. Essentially applicants for legal aid now have to prove not only that they are financially eligible and that the case merits public funding, but also that they (or their child/children) are the victims of domestic abuse. As well as drastically reducing the number of people eligible for legal aid, there are also concerns that the rules may incentivise people to allege domestic abuse when there has been none.

Whatever the context, dealing with court proceedings as a litigant in person is a stressful and often even a frightening experience. Court hearings before a judge or magistrates bench can be daunting, and under pressure you may find yourself unable to effectively present your case and do it justice. And even in the lull between court hearings you can find yourself having to respond to letters and telephone calls from the solicitors acting on behalf of the other party.

If you are a litigant in person in family law court proceedings, perhaps having been refused legal aid, then Moore & Tibbits Solicitors may be able to assist. We offer a free initial consultation to prospective clients, and in certain circumstances we may be able to represent you under a competitively-priced fixed fee package so as to give you greater certainty in respect of costs. We understand how difficult being a litigant in person can be, and want to do all we can to help you avoid it if at all possible.


Karol Kaliczak 


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