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

He "may be" going for primary or every weekend. I would never agree to either.
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...

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Asked by CassandraLD at 12:55 PM on Mar. 30, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • I would never ever go into family court without an attorney. In fact in the county I live in I have seen people try and the judge said they had to get one. I have just seen to many things that seemed like it should go one way go another way.

    Answer by okmommy08 at 12:58 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Some places have a self help center. Or perhaps you can speak with attorney and pay his hourly rate and he can help you get a game plan and tell you what you need to do. Many family attorneys will work out some sort of payment option. You could aslo hire a paralegal to file your paper work, which is cheaper than an attorney.

    Answer by Vanessannd at 1:06 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Talk to the court facilitator or go to a legal clinic. You do not...I repeat, do not need an attorney. It really does not change the outcome of things bc most states have a standard in place. Check out your state's superior court's website and see if there's court forms online. Most states will tell you what you need to do and what forms you need. Be sure to remember to document everything. Judges want to hear facts...not arguments.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:19 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • DON"T GO WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY. You can do it yourself but the family courts office will NOT give any advice, they can't..they are not attorneys and every situation is different. I would find the money or someone willing to take the case pro bono (free). Don't risk it, it could make things worse. There is so much that can go wrong and custody laws change all the time.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 1:23 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Please let me know if you need any help or advice. I have worked as a legal assistant and have filed my own papers in family court. You do not need an attorney. Look up your court's court facilitator and they CAN give you advice on what papers you need to fill out and file. Most states have a law library where you can purchase the packets you need for court along with instructions. All states have a legal clinic to help you and give you advice for free.

    Answer by a_and_j_momma at 1:44 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

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