The "Family Legal Advice Service" is an example of unbundled legal advice that the government funds. Other than that, you will need to pay for unbundled advice.
The University of Otago Legal Issues Centre has released an informative video explaining what unbundled advice is, and when you might choose to use it. You can find the video on YouTube. Unbundled advice is also known as limited retainer advice.
In the Family Court, you might choose to represent yourself, but get some unbundled legal advice:
- When the proceedings are beginning, to talk through what your overall strategy should be, and to have an expert point out the strengths and weaknesses of your case;
- Prior to a settlement conference or hearing, to go over Court rules and strategies;
- If something unexpected arises in your case and you are not sure how to respond.
Provided you come to the appointment with a clear understanding of how you got to where you are, and with all the relevant documents to hand, you should be able to get a lot of advice in an hour-long appointment. Be sure to explain to the lawyer when you are making the appointment, that you are seeking unbundled advice, so that the lawyer understands this from the beginning. Not all lawyers will be prepared to give unbundled advice. It is a rather "new" way of working and some lawyers won't be used to it.
I am happy to provide unbundled advice although I am likely to ask you to pay a retainer in advance of our appointment, as, sadly, clients who do not intend to establish a traditional lawyer-client relationship, have been known to collect legal advice and then refuse to pay for it.
Call me any time to discuss if you think unbundled advice is what you need.