10 Tips for the Self Represented in Family Court

Are you representing yourself?

Are you scheduled to appear in front of a judge?

Follow these 10 tips before your court date:
  1. Be prepared.
  2. Understand your judge. (Consider observing them in action prior to the date of your hearing.)
  3. Don’t assume your judge has read your file. (Don’t ask if they have read it, either.)
  4. Review local family law court rules to understand procedures.
  5. Speak directly to the judge (not the other party).
  6. File clear, concise, well-organized declarations.
  7. Don’t forget to file your Proof of Service for each document you file with the court.
  8. Calmly present your argument. (Watch your facial expressions and tone.)
  9. Understand the substantive law. (Not all judges are familiar with family law. You may need to explain to the court what you believe the relevant law is with respect to the issues before the court.)
  10. Stick to the issues before the court. (You might want to revisit unresolved issues or bring up new matters, but the court will not allow this since (a) time is limited, and (b) there are due process considerations.)
Best of luck!

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