LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW How to Have a McKenzie Friend at Family Court?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by paulfromaus, 18 March 2016.

  1. paulfromaus

    paulfromaus Active Member

    Joined:
    18 March 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a friend J, who is in the process of custody of children proceeding regarding his four children. The court case if half way through, and will continue soon.

    J no longer can afford a lawyer/barrister team, and he wants to have a McKenzie friend to cross-examine his ex-partner.

    He has been told that J needs consent from the family court and also from his ex-partner.

    J's ex-partner will be representing herself.

    Questions:

    1. How often does family court allow a McKenzie friend to appear in court?

    2. J does not believe his ex-partner would give consent, even though she does not know the McKenzie friend, and so there wouldn't be any prejudice involved.

    3. How long does it take for the court to give approval?

    4. If the court does not approve a McKenzie friend, does J have another option for someone to cross-examine his ex-partner.

    Thank you for your assistance
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    Even if he did have a Mackenzie Friend, they wouldn't be allowed to cross-examine on his behalf. If he self-represents, all the representation must be done by him. The Mackenzie Friend is there to take notes and provide "administrative" support for the party to proceedings, not to actually represent him.
     
  3. paulfromaus

    paulfromaus Active Member

    Joined:
    18 March 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello.

    Thank you for your quick answer.

    My understanding is that if he self-represents, he would not be allowed to cross-examine his ex-partner. If he is not represented by a lawyer, how can his ex-partner be cross-examined? This is absolutely essential to the custody battle.

    Thank you.

    P, on behalf of J'
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    In domestic violence order hearings, the court can stop a respondent from questioning the aggrieved, but in parenting matters, self-represented litigants can and should cross-examine their former spouses.

    J should organise an appointment with Legal Aid. They offer free consultation in parenting matters, even if J is not eligible for Legal Aid funding. Legal Aid is immensely helpful for SRLs and can provide templates and other helpful documents that demonstrate how to cross-examine a witness, etc.
     
  5. paulfromaus

    paulfromaus Active Member

    Joined:
    18 March 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your help.
     

Share This Page

Loading...