What to do and how to do it

Representing yourself in family court - film

This short film looks at how to represent yourself in court about a family problem if you do not have a lawyer. It deals with the things you may be worrying about and shows you simple tips that will help you put your side as well as you can.
How to represent yourself in the family court

We made this short film because we know that going to court without a solicitor is a very frightening and stressful experience and we want to help.

It looks at the questions people who have represented themselves told us they worried about most, and shows you simple tips that you can use to put your side as well as you can.

Produced - April 2019
Reviewed September 2022

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About this film


The information in this guide applies to England and Wales and is for general purposes only. The law may be different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The law is complicated. We have simplified things in the guide to give you an idea of how the law applies to you. Please don't rely on this guide as a complete statement of the law or as a substitute for getting legal advice about what to do in the specific circumstances of your case.

The quotes and cases we refer to are not always real but show a typical situation. We hope they help you think about how to deal with your own situation.


We are grateful to the Family Justice Council for funding this short film. We would like to thank all those who provided feedback on the script.

This film was reviewed thanks to funding from Litigant in Person Support Strategy. 

10 Reviews

Represent yourself

Excellent helpful video Thank you
Benn Blanco on the 22 / 11 / 2023

Video/ family court behaviour

Only site where you (as a man off the street) are given an insight/ understanding of what/how to prepare for a family court hearing. Daunting entering a strange/ unseen environment, and trying to put your side of the case when your ex partner has professional solicitor representing them against you. Thank you so much for this useful guide
W. PHILLIPS on the 11 / 07 / 2023

Very helpful

This really made me think! I will try an compose myself in court. I feel less nervous now after seeing this, thank you!
Annika on the 25 / 06 / 2023

Great advice

I'm representing myself in family court for my grandson and I'm all prepared with notes and the original documents , I'm so nervous but I will stay calm and do the best I can for him
Diane Turner on the 18 / 06 / 2023

child contact extension

the other year we were in court from January 2nd /March /MAY etc up till October because our son .We took a solicitor but it did no good so this year as he has started again i am going it alone and hoping to do better and a lot cheaper after watching the short film i can now get organised yahooo
Special Guardian Order grandparent age 75 thank you very much on the 10 / 05 / 2021

Great advice - thanks

Having my first family court appearance next week via telephone, but much of this advice holds. Can't afford representation so this is really helpful.
SD on the 09 / 12 / 2020

Advice video

Really good advice, clear to understand and user friendly
on the 27 / 01 / 2020

thank you

made me laugh because it was like watching myself in court i have often broke down and i cant read to good and i have to represent myself in court and it is the most horrible feeling when they have all there papers and i dont even know whats going on and the lies are soooooooo bad it makes me mad, but watching this short film has shown me to keep my cool and try not to cry and interrupt, i talk fast anyway so its even harder when im upset. thank you for making me see myself and how it does not help my boys i think im passionate when im trying to tell the judge everything but in reality im doin myself but most of inportantly my boys NO GOOD. in going to court now with some hope and my mouth shut lol. wish me luck thank you again x
melanie on the 16 / 01 / 2020

Representing yourself in a family court.

Priceless to know how to professionally represent yourself in court.
on the 21 / 08 / 2019

Very informative

Addresses every detail, thank you sharing it
Reena on the 14 / 06 / 2019


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