HOW CAN YOUR BARRISTER HELP YOU AS A LITIGANT IN PERSON
INFORMATION ON ARRANGMENT IN COURT FOR VULNERABLE CLIENTS
Important note: Please note that this information is not intended to be legal advice. You are advised to seek legal advice.
This information provides an overview for vulnerable clients when attending court
The preparation will often be dependent on the type of hearing and the specific circumstances of the case in question. However, there are some general tips, which can help a litigant in person prepare for an upcoming Family Court hearing.
Appropriate arrangements for children
It is not advisable to bring children to court and therefore parties should try to make alternative childcare arrangements.
In some cases, the Cafcass officer may arrange appointments for a child with a parent in a room in a court building. Upon arrival, you ought to notify the court staff and you will be directed to the relevant place.
Parties will often be required to attend the court 30 minutes or 1 hour in advance of the time that the hearing is listed to start. You may want to arrive in good time, to familiarise yourself with your surroundings and therefore it is advisable to plan timings and the route in advance.
Interpreters can be used in the Family Court if a party is deaf/hard of hearing or does not understand English. You can get in touch with the court in advance of the hearing and they will be able to organise an interpreter to attend on the day.
People with disabilities
Courts should be accessible to people with disabilities and reasonable adjustments must be made. You can get in touch with the court in advance of the hearing to make them aware of specific requirements to ensure that things run smoothly on the day.
Safety at the court
Domestic abuse will be a relevant factor in many Family Court cases and therefore parties may be concerned about their safety on the day of the hearing. You can get in touch with the court in advance of the hearing so that necessary safeguarding measures can be taken. Examples of such measures include:
A separate waiting room
A screen to be placed between the parties
Attending the hearing via video link in exceptional circumstances
Chambers of Helen Alexander-Direct Public Access-Family Court Barrister