The article presents a rationale for communicative, conceptual, cognitive and procedural challenges experienced by litigants in person in financial remedy proceedings. The article also explores oscillation between written and spoken legal genres and narrative development strategies which litigants in person have to use throughout different stages (from the early stages of starting proceedings, filling in court forms and providing documentation, through the negotiation process to interaction in court). While legal professionals express themselves in paradigmatic legal mode influenced by legal acts and legislation, litigants in person tend to express themselves in narrative mode similar to everyday storytelling. The objective is to investigate obstacles litigants in person experience during the process originally designed by legal professionals for legal professionals. The article evaluates different options for empowering lay people involved in legal proceedings and argues for the need to provide more specific support for different stages of family proceedings.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law on 12 Oct 2016, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09649069.2016.1239362
- communicative, cognitive, conceptual and procedural challenges
- financial remedy proceedings
- legal-lay discourse
- litigants in person