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Family Law

Family Court Representation

If you need to go to court for a decision on a family matter, our experienced family law solicitors will ensure that 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.

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What is 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 have an informal atmosphere, with everyone seated around a table. The goal is to maintain a calm and non-confrontational environment.  

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

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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 choose to represent yourself in court if you prefer to present your case directly to the judge or if you are unable to 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 supporting your case must be robust enough to stand up to scrutiny in court. A solicitor will make sure you have strong evidence to support 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.


Do you need legal representation in the Family Court?

Davisons family solicitors possess the training and years of experience to provide you with first-class representation in court. We can manage your entire case from beginning to end or simply provide advice as needed.

We understand that legal proceedings can be especially stressful when children are involved. We are mindful of this and address issues thoughtfully and compassionately to ensure your children experience minimal distress. 

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

Have any questions or need any help?

Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their field. Be confident in their advice and decisions to help get the right outcome for you. Contact us today to see how we can help

Family Court Representation FAQs

In family court representation, usually, each party covers their own legal costs.

If you do not attend a family court hearing, the case is unlikely to simply disappear. Depending on whether you are the applicant or respondent in the proceedings, there are several possible outcomes. One such outcome is an adjournment and the scheduling of a new court date.