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Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does MFSF actually offer?

MFSF have some dedicated, well experienced individuals who will advise you based on your case and situation. EVERY case is different, hence it’s crucial to stick to the person giving you the advice. We help fathers with their legal cases so they can self represent without having a solicitor / Barrister. This will save you hundreds and thousands of pounds. There are other fathers and peers who are willing to lend and ear and have someone to speak to, this is critical for mental health. 

Does it cost at MFSF?

The only paid service is through our referrals to a “McKenzie friend”. This means they can take on your case, they can actually come with you in court at your hearings. They can advise you what to say to the judge. You will definitely find the cost heavily reduced from what you’d pay a solicitor or a barrister / Lawyer. The cost of this service is solely between you and the McKenzie friend. MFSF does not receive a referral fee from referring to a McKenzie friend. The McKenzie friends are a separate entity to MFSF.

What is a Mckenzie friend?

A Mckenzie friend is a  person who attends a trial as a non-professional helper or adviser to a litigant who does not have legal representation in court. They can advise you what to say in court by whispering to you in your ear, (yes, even in front of the judge and the other party), or even by writing down what to say on a piece of paper. There are different types of McKenzie Friends, including: family members, or friends, who provide moral support in court and do not charge a fee voluntary helpers attached to institutions or charities, who generally do not charge for their help fee-charging McKenzie Friends, who offer support with court proceedings.

A form would have to be signed and given in to court before you’re allowed to bring the “Mckenzie friend” with you. 

What is CAFCASS?

Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

They are effectively the Judges “eyes” and “ears”. They carry out all the necessary investigation by interviewing the children, mother and father, then submitting a report to the judge with a recommendation. The judges usually agree and go ahead with CAFCASS’s recommendation 99% of the time.  

Cafcass represents children in family court cases in England. They independently advise the family courts about what is safe for children and in their best interests. They put their needs, wishes and feelings first, making sure that children’s voices are heard at the heart of the family court setting. Operating within the law set by Parliament (Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000) and under the rules and directions of the family courts, they are independent of the courts, social services, education and health authorities and all similar agencies.

They duty is to safeguard and promote the welfare of children going through the family justice system, supporting over 140,000 children every year by understanding their experiences and speaking up for them when the family court makes critical decisions about their futures.

What is a Non Molestation Order? (Non Mol)

A non-molestation order is typically issued to prohibit an abuser from using or threatening physical violence, intimidating, harassing, pestering or communicating with you. An order could prevent the abuser coming within a certain distance of you, your home address or even attending your place of work. It could also include your children in certain circumstances. An order will also prevent an abuser from instructing or encouraging others to do any of those actions.

This article here explains in more detail the reasons for Non-mols being issued: 

Do I need a solicitor / Barrister? or can I self represent?

Each case is different, but by speaking to one of our representatives / Mckenzie friend, you’ll find in most cases, you can actually self represent – you won’t be alone. You’ll have MFSF helping you with your case. This will also help you save thousands of pounds (solicitors / barristers are expensive). But before you decide anything, it’s best to consult with MFSF first.  

What is CMS?

Child maintenance service (CMS) covers how your child’s living costs will be paid when one of the parents does not live with the child. It’s made when you’ve separated from the other parent or if you’ve never been in a relationship.

This usually happens when the other party apply for CMS and raise a case against you. You’ll then be contacted by CMS and receive letters on how much you should pay.

You have to submit your wage slips, P60 so the amount you’re paying reflects how much you’re earning. You have to be on top of this, otherwise CMS work out the calculations according to their own info / system and you might be told to pay a lot more than you should!

What is "Legal Mediation"?

Legal mediation is an out of court process where it involves both parties to agree mutually on a child arrangement schedule. This agreement then is signed off by the judge and becomes legally binding. This is the best resolution as it doesn’t involve a long acrimonious court battle where the only winners are the lawyers and barristers. Children suffer in this process and the father / husband loses financially, mentally and sometimes, even physically.    

What is a "Fact find" hearing?

A fact find hearing is a detailed hearing where both parties have a chance to either prove their innocence, or put their allegations forward based on evidence. This can take up to a few days. Then the judge makes a decision after hearing and seeing all the evidences, witness statements, video / audio evidences, from both parties.  A McKenzie friend can attend the fact finding hearings.