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Going to custody court without an attorney. What are the biggest do's and dont's to follow?

First appearance. Lost my attorney due to lack of funds on my behalf. I have two beautiful children and he wants them every weekend or every other. He moved to the state of Deleware and the children and I live in PA. I say one weekend a month. It is a 4 1/2hr trip just one way to see him. They play sports and go to bible school and they miss out because of the schedules. He is a manipulative man I have been trying to get my life back for 3 - 4 years now seperated and he makes my life alot harder than it has to be. It is a hardship pn my children to have to travel for such lengths of time. He had a suicide attempt 3 years ago, was doing all sorts of narcotics. Has harrasssed me, I have a PFA against him. Cut off all my daughters hair (she is 6) he took off 7inches dont know why and how dare he...

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 8:51 PM on Mar. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • #1 Stand up when the judge enters.
    #2 Do not interrupt him-the judge or the ex. Keep a pen and paper handy for when it is your turn to speak. Make notes of anything the ex says you disagree with.
    #3 sit like a lady, and dress like one. Business professional. No cleavage, easy makeup.
    #4 review the judges previous decisions online if you can. You'll have a good idea of what he looks for then.
    #5 This CANNOT be personal between you and your ex. YOU must make it clear that you are in it for the good of your (our) children. 9 hours of travel every other weekend will disrupt their routines, etc. be exceptionally bad for school and extra curricular.
    #6 Bring any sort of documentation of the ex's erratic behavior. I'm actually amazed your ok with once a month, I'd be asking for court supervised.
    #7 check into legal aid. they may give you an attorney for free.
    lovinangels

    Answer by lovinangels at 9:44 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • Always say that it is "in OUR childrens best interest". never say MY children. they want to see that you are doing what you can to work together. And then you have to back up what you said. Why is it in their best interest to be with you when you want them to be? show your proof.
    Good luck!
    outstandingLove

    Answer by outstandingLove at 8:53 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • Sounds like you need to try and get supraise visits and he needs to come to the children and stay in your town. He does not sound stable to me at all. Good Luck and i hope you get your point across to the judge. Hopefully theres a good judge on your case that day. Every weekend is alot of traveling for the children. Not to mention you.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:00 PM on Mar. 29, 2009

  • What lovinangels said.

    Also, wear blue. Blue clothing psychologically exudes truthfulness and "trustworthyness" (a reason why many EMTs/Police/Firemen wear blue uniforms). Be respectful, do not interrupt. Do not hash out personal squabbles in the courtroom. No slang, use proper English. Be respectful of the judge's time (and the fact that he has to hear a million similar cases a day). Say what needs to be said, things based on facts and common sense instead of just how you feel or emotions.

    Good luck!
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 3:27 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Here is a link for you about self representation by states. Not all counties are listed but hope this helps.
    http://www.ncsconline.org/wc/CourTopics/statelinks.asp?id=108&topic=ProSe

    I have access to several more. You can PM me if you like.
    hevnlyangel24

    Answer by hevnlyangel24 at 4:36 AM on Mar. 30, 2009