I truly can't believe it's come to this but here I am.
I need help but have no way to fund it.
My sister's son has disclosed his father has been sexually abusing him. This was 2 years ago. The police bungled the interviews, no prosecution.
The father is a complete narcissist and is now dragging my sister through the courts. After 4 hearings we have to go to fact finding which is 5 full days. We're already £17000 down on credit cards. We have no more money.
Please - if you are a family solicitor or barrister who can help keep my nephew safe and work for free I don't know how we'd repay you.
We just can't believe we've got here.
So sorry for begging. There just no other choice now.
Familylawsolicitor - the hearing date isn't out yet but several submissions and statements and transcripts have to be submitted by end July. It's in London
User - I cannot begin to go through this nonsense. SS aren't involved as they are satisfied he's safe with my sister. I honestly don't know how this country is supposed to work. Ex says that because there's no proof my sister made it up to be vindictive. The barrister we can no longer afford said that it's the most complex private law case she's seen in years.
It sounds like you might have enough time for bar pro bono. They don't usually do more than 3 day hearings though. It's right that you can't self refer but cab/law centres can refer you. Your old solicitor might also be able to refer you.
Am confused as you said you didn't have three weeks in reference to the bar pro bono unit and now that hearing date is not set. Do you mean that it is less than 3 weeks before you file your evidence? The bar pro bono unit won't help with that so you will need to crack on with filing. What is the concern with regards to filing the evidence without legal advice?
Is your sister ineligible financially for legal aid? As if the issue was lack of proof of DV then she might be able to apply for exceptional legal aid.
London as good as far more pro bono help there. Have you been in touch with the RCJ CAB? www.rcjadvice.org.uk/family-law/ They can assist with a pro bono referral for you.
The public law project has useful information and may be able to refer you to an organisation that can help with an application for exceptional legal aid. It's very difficult to get. I've successfully applied for one and tbh I would never do it again as I didn't get paid for the 20 hours it took to do the application.
The PLP page suggests they may be able to refer your sister to Rights of Women to assist with an ECF application, Rights of Women is also an excellent organisation to get in touch with for direct assistance.
Yes, best not to divulge much. I hope your sister finds the help needed. If the father has residence and yet is still making an application it sounds quite urgent as the longer the norm for the children is living with him the harder to change that status quo and their norm.
Has your sister asked the court whether it will make a rule 16.2 direction for her son to be made a party to the case? The court would then appoint a guardian who would appoint a solicitor. They would be able to test the evidence in a fact finding case - although would have different parameters to your sister so obviously not the same as her being represented. If the case is so complicated the court may well be prepared to make the direction.