A few days ago I shared an update that the President of the Family Court has announced the production of draft family law orders better suited to Litigants-in-Person (parents who represent themselves in court). The intentions are positive and include better consistency across the court service and wording aimed at the non-technical.
Hopefully the new judicial templates will cut down on some of the poor practice we see, including filing dates being left off directions, and warning notices being omitted (despite their inclusion being a statutory requirement).
The President, in his announcement, seeks to address the resistance which exists to change, which included complaints that previous draft court orders issued in early 2014 were apparently too difficult for some to use. Others complained that the standard drafts were too long. As mentioned above, trusting people to include the right wording in orders is fine in theory, but in practice this resulted in mistakes being made and omissions. To help ease in the change, the President has also had prepared a tick list of potential order wording which allows a judge/court staff to quickly select the wording they wish included in the order.
The President’s announcement does miss something though. It’s not uncommon for McKenzie Friends to be asked to draft court orders. Where the judge regularly sees the McKenzie Friend in court, and is confident in their ability, this happens sometimes even when the other party is represented (yes, really!).
All well and good to make the draft order wording available within the court service, and widening publication to the Bar and Law Society, but what about McKenzie Friends?
This is where we step in. The draft order wording is now available within our Draft Court Orders section of our Family Law App. The ‘tick list’ wording can be downloaded as a PDF and is also available via the link picture below:
For some parents and children this year there will be a gaping hole in their lives while others enjoy the festive season. They won’t be seeing their children. For some, they won’t have seen their children for a while. Some will have no court order or arrangements in place. For others, arrangements will break down at the last minute, or they’re desperately still trying to get their ex-partner to agree dates as the clock ticks down to Christmas morning. It’s torture.
It’s natural to feel depressed and stressed when you don’t see your children, but please take that energy, and put it towards re-establishing your relationship. You’re not forgotten. Please download our guide to Coping with Stress.
While sympathy, understanding and empathy may help, it’s not enough. Practical help to change these circumstances is what a parent in these circumstances wants and needs. Stress and depression comes from feeling helpless. You’re not.
Our guides on our family law app will help. Our family law app contains 1.5million words of content, guides, case law, forms and more… all written for parents in your circumstances… and free throughout the year.
We also have downloadable “guide packs” in our shop, but it’s Christmas and in these circumstances sometimes knowing someone will help, for no reason other than to help, makes a difference. So until 6th January 2016, all of the following downloadable guides and resources are free. Continue reading Not seeing your child this Christmas? Some presents from us, to you
In 2013 the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishments of Offenders Act (LAPSO), came into force. One area of law affected was private family work, with legal aid being cut with the exception of cases where domestic violence was alleged. There were concerns that this might prompt a rise in false allegations as a means to secure free legal representation. So has there been a stark increase in applications for non-molestation orders?
Last week, we received a copy of data from a Freedom of Information Act request to the Ministry of Justice on Civil Legal Aid and Applications for Non-Molestation Orders and have finally had a chance to ‘crunch’ the numbers.
There’s something odd about the Midlands Continue reading Non-Molestation Orders and Legal Aid – Time for Investigation