6 Tips to Represent Yourself in Family Court

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There is always the option to represent yourself in court. If you decided that this would be the best course of action for you, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind. If you follow these, you have a better chance to have the judge listen to your story.

Start by learning everything you can about family law, particularly the sections that apply to your case. Make sure that you fill out all documents correctly and submit them on time. Be sure to have a clear stance on the matter at hand and convey this explicitly. Respect any court date appointments that you have. 

1. Know the Rules

If you have decided that you want to represent yourself in family court start by doing your homework. Learn everything you can about the field and delve deep into the specific laws that apply to your case. If you get stuck, do not hesitate to contact experts like Farzad & Ochoa for some guidance.

Also, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the court judges. This will help you prepare a solid case. It is important to have a clear narrative and evidence to support that. Decide on a few key points and pursue those.

As part of your preparation, consider signing up for some legal courses, or at least a crash course, if you do not have a lot of time at your disposal. Know the rules and play by them. To make your story heard, make sure to use the channels that are made available to you through the court system.

2. Respect Deadlines

Prove that you are capable and responsible by respecting all the deadlines. Prepare the necessary documents in advance and make sure to file them before the clock runs out. As a precaution, it is best to not leave this to the last day because you never know what unforeseen event can impede the process. 

If your forms are filled out correctly and submitted on time, the judge is more likely to listen to your side of the events. 

3. Invest Time in Preparing for Court

You can find out what documents and forms are needed for your case through a discovery process. Make sure to inquire about all the deadlines for filing certain documents. After you have prepared all the paperwork, disclose all these and possible witnesses to the other side.

When using Self Help Center forms, double-check the information you provided and that all the required fields are filled. If you want to prepare court documents yourself, take your time. Gather information about how these documents should look like and what points they should address. Make sure that these comply with the court rules.

4. Take a Clear Stance

Furthermore, focus on conveying your perspective in a clear and persuasive tone. However, do not attempt any manipulation tactics. The judge will likely pick up on these, and it will not bode well. For the handwritten sections, make sure that your writing is legible. 

An important part of your success is to have a clear stance on the subject debated with the other party. It is just as important to be aware of and consider the opposition’s stance on the issue.

5. Witnesses Are Important

Witnesses can play a crucial role in any case, but they are usually allowed only at trials. If you can use witness testimony, this can be a valuable resource. Start by identifying all the people who can testify in your favor. Consider the profile of the person you decide to call as a witness. If they are deemed trustworthy and respectable, their testimony can have a higher value in the eye of the court.

6. Be Present

Missing a court hearing would be very detrimental to your case, so avoid this at all costs. It is best to be there several minutes before the scheduled hour. If you cannot meet an appointment for some reason, you need to make a series of arrangements beforehand. This implies filing legal documents that state a justified reason for not being able to be present. What is more, the other side must also consent to this change.

In family court, more so than in other fields, it is crucial to prove that you are reliable. Meeting set appointments and being there on time is an efficient way to do that.

Final Thoughts

The most important aspect when representing yourself in family court is to be prepared. Spend time to learn about the law and legal proceedings, the documents you need to file, and subsequent deadlines. The best way to ensure your win is to play by the rules.

About the author:

While she had a solid education in law, Lynda King wanted more than a job as a lawyer. She knew that people needed information and a better understanding of everyday legal matters, so she began writing articles and guidelines to educate individuals and businesses. Now, Lynda is collaborating with Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, being proud that her knowledge and writing talent are helping everyone every day.