Don’t underestimate the value of having a solicitor on your side

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If you are facing court proceedings it can be tempting to ‘go it alone’ and save on the costs of a solicitor. But this could increase the stress of the case and produce a worse outcome than if you had legal representation, according to research by charity Citizens Advice.

According to the report, the stress, responsibility and loneliness of going to court without representation can mean ‘litigants in person achieve worse outcomes compared with their represented counterparts’.

It also showed 90% of people who had acted for themselves found the experience negatively affected their health, relationships, work or finances. Some lost their jobs due to the pressure, while others got into debt due to court issues, including paying for photocopying and travelling to and from court.

The charity said the rise in litigants in person was mainly due to clients being unable to afford a lawyer due to reduced funding for those going to the family court following the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2013.

The charity said it was only after people had been through the process of going to the family court on their own that they realised the value of having a lawyer, with 70% saying that instructing a professional would have benefited their court experience.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘For people representing themselves in the family courts, whether in a divorce case or to keep the legal right to see their children, the workload to prepare can be unmanageable. The stress of making your case against qualified barristers and navigating complex court processes without the right guidance can make existing mental and physical health problems worse.’

Here at Kenyon Son and Craddock we aim to help you through each step of the court process. We provide fee packages to suit you, so that you can pay a fixed fee or an hourly rate for the work you want us to do. Give us a call on 012405 813108 to see how we can help and take away some of the stress of court proceedings.

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