Do I need a Lawyer?

No. There is no law which requires you to have a lawyer when you are involved in family law proceedings. You may represent yourself at all stages if you wish.

However, you should be aware that the Court is an independent and impartial body. It cannot favour one party over another, or even appear to favour one party over another. Whilst the Court will try its best to make sure that any party who is unrepresented is aware of the appropriate procedure to be followed in the Court, the Court cannot, and will not, offer legal advice or representation to an unrepresented party.

In Family Law, there are many rules and protocols which apply in relation to the documents and forms to be prepared and filed and in relation to the procedure which occurs in Court. You are required to follow the rules regardless of whether you have a lawyer or not. Failure to do so can lead to some of your evidence not being accepted or to an order being made against you that you pay the other party’s legal costs.

It is always preferable, and advisable, that you have a family lawyer represent you.

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