Frequently asked questions

Q: Will you support me in any family or civil court?

A: Our charity operates in many civil and family courts in England and Wales, for details of the court buildings we work in please view our locations.

Q: What are your opening times?

A: Most offices are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, but please check opening hours for your local office.

Q: Do I need an appointment?

A: We are a drop-in service, so no appointment is necessary, but you may need to wait to see a volunteer if we are busy helping other clients. It is recommended that you book an appointment where possible. Please contact your nearest office to check local arrangements, as some services can only offer appointments for support at a hearing.

Q: How many times will I be able to come or help?

A: We provide support as many times as required but we encourage clients to do things for themselves where they can. If we are busy we may need to limit the time we give to you.

Q: Will I be able to bring a friend or relative to accompany me?

A: Yes, if you think that would be helpful. Sometimes it’s useful to have another person listening to the same conversation. Your friend or relative may not be allowed into a hearing.

Q: Can you look after my children while I’m in my hearing?

A: No, neither does the court encourage bringing children to hearings so please make alternative arrangements for them for when you have a hearing.

Q: Can you give me legal advice?

A: No, we are not legally trained. We offer practical and emotional support to people facing court without a lawyer.

Q: Are you able to help me find free legal advice?

A: Where possible we will provide you with information about where to find free legal advice in the local area. The amount of free legal advice available is different in every area and will depend on the type of case you are involved in.  

Q: Is there a charge for your service?

A: No. Our service is free, independent and confidential.

Q: Can I bring the evidence for my case to show you?

A: Yes, but we cannot give you an opinion on whether it’s important for your case or not. We can help you organise your paperwork if you wish.

Q: Could a volunteer accompany me to my hearing?

A: Yes. We can come with you to your hearing but we cannot speak on your behalf. We can sit next to you, take some informal notes and discuss any next steps with you after the hearing has finished.

Q: Can you help me over the phone?

A: Ring us and find out. We find our support is most effective face to face but sometimes we can provide some basic support and information over the phone. It’s not a problem to ring first and have a chat about your situation and then arrange to come in and meet a volunteer if you need to.  

Q: Can you help me complete court forms?

A: We can help you navigate and complete the relevant sections of many court forms but we cannot advise you what’s best to write for your case.    

Q: I’m interested in volunteering for you. Where can I find more information?

A: For more information about joining our dedicated volunteers, please view Court volunteering.

Q: How can I support your charity?

A: There are several ways to support us including making a donation, becoming a Friend, organising a fundraising event and providing facilities for volunteer training. For more information please view how you can Support us.