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Good Practice Guide

Good Practice Guide to Working with Litigants in Person

Subject to the rules on vexatious litigants, anyone is entitled to act in person. However, there has been a tendency to treat people who do so as a nuisance. With the reforms to family justice, cut backs on legal aid and changes in behaviour in relation to the ways in which people approach family relationship breakdown, there has been a significant increase in the number of litigants in person and you should consider how your dealings with litigants in person will differ from those with another lawyer.

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Financial Applications

It is important when getting divorced, or when dissolving a civil partnership, to consider the financial issues that arise out of the separation. Most couples try to reach a financial settlement without having to ask the court to determine their financial claims, however, some couples are not able to come to an agreement in relation to their finances and need to make a financial application to the court. Where an application is made the couple will still be encouraged to try and come to a settlement themselves within those proceedings but ultimately a judge will impose an outcome on them if they cannot. Below we set out the court process.

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Application for a Divorce

You can apply for a divorce if you have been married for more than a year and can show that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Currently this is done by proving one of five facts – adultery, behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation with consent, or 5 years separation.

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