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Not so many years ago this book would have had a very limited market. Few people chose to represent themselves in family proceedings - and for good reason.
Representing yourself in legal proceedings when you are not a lawyer is hard enough; representing yourself in family proceedings is even more difficult as a consequence of the inevitable emotional dimension to every case. However times change. More and more people are representing themselves and choosing to act as a litigant in person. What was previously unusual is now commonplace.
There are two main reasons for the rise in self-representation. Public funding has been effectively abolished and many people are left with no option but to represent themselves following family breakdown. The provision of legal services has also changed beyond recognition and is now far more consumer driven.
There are many who now choose to represent themselves and take legal advice and representation as and when necessary. Continuous legal representation from cradle to grave is fast becoming for many an unaffordable luxury and a thing of the past. The creative and cost effective use of legal resources on a costs benefit analysis has understandably driven many to represent themselves.
The aim of this book is to provide essential and specific assistance to litigants in person; whether their status as litigant in person is a matter of choice or otherwise. The book cannot and does not seek to be a comprehensive guide to the law and practice that you will encounter. You will need to look elsewhere for that. The book will however guide you towards further areas of study and research.
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This book is but your first step in understanding the options available to you and the themes and issues that you will encounter as you embark upon self-representation and the resolution of your family dispute. This book is therefore intentionally ‘law lite’ and conversational in tone.
We recommend reading the book from cover to cover. One of our goals has been to produce a book that is relatively easy to read for non-lawyers. However law is frequently complex and difficult to understand and some chapters will need to be more carefully read than others.