How to prepare for an appearance in the Family court if you are a Litigant in Person


    Extent: Jersey
    Updated 11 October 2017




Going to Court on a family matter can be a daunting experience, however, with careful preparation before the Hearing and seeking legal advice early, you can help minimise that stress.

I am often asked by clients to provide guidance as to what to expect when they represent themselves as a “Litigant in Person” and this article summarises what I would talk through with them before they attend Court.

Remember also, the Judge will know that you are not legally qualified, so do not feel afraid to ask the Judge, or Court staff, if you require any clarification on any aspect of the Court proceedings.

How should I prepare for a Hearing in Court?

What do I need to do when I arrive at Court?

What is expected from me at the Hearing?

What if I am too nervous about speaking in Court?

You may be able to bring a friend with you to attend the hearing. This friend may be able to come into Court and sit with you, help take notes and give quiet advice to you. Such friends are referred to as “Mackenzie Friends” and are not necessarily legally qualified. They cannot (unless given permission by the Judge) address the Court or examine any witnesses.

What will happen after the Hearing?

I understand the worry and stress that can be caused by divorce and separation. Instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf can ease much of the pressure and provide essential advice and guidance when you most need it.