Why hire a McKenzie Friend, when they are not a lawyer?
Updated: Jun 9, 2019
If you were in the desperate position of needing brain surgery, would you be content going under the knife with an individual with no medical training, but had witnessed a few brain operations?
Maybe you'd decline the help of the talented amateur in this scenario. Let's face it, there isn't much of a history of successful brain surgery by non-medics.
But what if you were in the entirely different but also desperate position, following the breakdown of a relationship, like:
· trying to get a judge to allow you contact with your children, or
· Attempting to get a court to agree to them living with you, or
· Needing to obtain a fair property settlement, or
· Applying for a protection order
Would you be happy to use the services of someone with no legal qualifications? Well, here the talented amateur has something of a track record. He or she also has a title - they are your McKenzie friend.
UK based evidence, where McKenzie Friends are widespread, shows many fee-charging McKenzie friends are highly valued by litigants. They are affordable, flexible and show a strong commitment to client care – as well as being familiar with court processes and protocols.
Research indicates that 20 to 30 per cent of Family Court cases involve a party who is self-represented at some point. So, in an environment in which litigants are increasingly unable to afford the services of qualified lawyers, it is essential for the public to know they have access to affordable alternative support mechanisms.
So the amateur talent can come in handy if a lawyer is just not achievable budget wise. At least a McKenzie Friend can:
· Help fill in court application forms
· Gather and present evidence and statements.
· Come to court with a self-represented litigant, sit next to them in the court room and guide you through the process, make suggestions and take notes.
When no one else can!