If your application is urgent (made without notice) you can have a lawyer help you apply for the Order and represent you in court.
You can get a family lawyer’s advice at any time when you’re working out disagreements about caring for your children. However, you need to do some things yourself in the early parts of some Family Court processes, like giving your documents to the Family Court (known as filing your documents) and at some meetings (called conferences).
For other parts of the process you can use a lawyer:
At each step of the process, the court will tell you if you can use a lawyer. When you’re not allowed to use a lawyer, you’ll need to represent yourself.
If you’re on a low income, you may be able to get some legal advice and help for free through our Family Legal Advice Service. A lawyer from the Family Legal Advice Service will help you understand:
You can get this help from the Family Legal Advice Service any time before going to court. You can also get help to fill out the court forms if you are applying for a Parenting Order or responding to an application for an Order.
If you need more advice than this, you’ll need to pay this lawyer or another lawyer.
You may also be able to get legal aid, which is where the government pays for a lawyer for people who are eligible once their case is in court.
Find out more about:
The judge can appoint a lawyer for a child at any stage if they think it’s necessary (for example, if they’re concerned about the child’s safety or wellbeing).
The judge can also appoint a lawyer to help the court if there are particular legal issues to be considered.
You and the other people involved in your case may have to pay some of the costs of a lawyer for a child or for a lawyer to help the court. Paying for these costs is called a Cost Contribution Order.
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