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Going Pro Se at court

Posted by on May. 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM
  • 12 Replies

So I am taking my ex back to court to file contempt charges and met with the attorney today. She said I have a slam dunk case and he is definitely in contempt. The problem is I don't have enough money to go to court and I make to  much for legal aid. So after we talked for a while we decided that I would go pro se (represent myself) with her "limited representation" of me. Basically she will draw all paperwork, pick the judge, tell me what to do, she just won't go to court for me.

I have mixed feelings about this and would like anyone's input/advice. I think I can handle it and with her help I know I will have all the legalities covered. However, I am very concerned about facing this man (my ex) in court again. He is a bully and can get what he wants out of any situation.

Has anyone been through this or have any advice on how to get through this. I am not even sure what kind of advice I am looking for. Anything would help I guess.

By the way the contempt is for him moving and refusing to do any revised visitation (over an hour away and he has them on school nights), refusing to pay medical expenses, driving with the kids in the car (not allowed to per judgment), and trying to cancel the kids med insurance. I do have proof of all these things.

by on May. 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM
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Replies (1-10):
dawncs
by on May. 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM
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I recommend watching when you can court television programs like the People's Court and other small claims court programs. It can give you an idea how to present yourself. Always stick to the facts and secure all evidence in a safe place in case he gets crazy and decides to break in. Any correspondence regarding medical copays and medical expenses, I recommend you do it via certified letter return receipt requested to provide proof that he received notification of these things.

Dawn


Group owner of Different Learners Support Group (http://www.cafemom.com/group/118648)

sid1083
by Silver Member on May. 24, 2013 at 1:08 AM
3 moms liked this
Stick to the facts, try your hardest to remove any emotion and only address the court, not your ex. If your lawyer is preparing the forms for you, that will certainly help a lot since they'll be the basis for your argument.
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Mamavelt
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 2:18 AM
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I had to do this and was a nervous wreck. Luckily my x didn't even show up and we had already determined visitation at an earlier hearing. I am not sure if the judge felt sorry for me but was patient and helpful w me when I didn't know how to answer certain questions. I will say that the legal team that put my paperwork together did an awesome job. Oh and I heartily agree w sticking to facts-no emotion, answer concisely and try not to let him get to you.
momma_2013
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM
1 mom liked this
I do all the time... just go in there and dont let it get to you!!!
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idunno1234
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM
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You shouldn't have any problem at all.  Your attorney's limited representation is enough to ensure you are doing everything you need to represent yourself in front of a judge.

If you are like me, you already know everything that you need to convey to the judge.  Have absolute and utter confidence in yourself because you know you are in the right.  He can't shake you unless you let him and he has to be on his best behavior in front of the judge.

Is he still represented?

Jenn8604
by Silver Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:49 AM
1 mom liked this
I went pro se. of course I have experience typing motions and appeals and such from being a paralegal. I just used the knowledge and drafted my own stuff and appeared by myself.
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Robsessed98
by on May. 24, 2013 at 11:49 AM
1 mom liked this
Just hold your head high, speak directly and respectfully to the judge and his attorney and don't even look in his direction. It's a little scary, but if you have you info and proof organized, you will do just fine.
LauraMH
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Thank you so much ladies! I guess I just needed a little support and you guys always provide that! I appreciate all the advice and support!!
LauraMH
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Quoting idunno1234:

You shouldn't have any problem at all.  Your attorney's limited representation is enough to ensure you are doing everything you need to represent yourself in front of a judge.


If you are like me, you already know everything that you need to convey to the judge.  Have absolute and utter confidence in yourself because you know you are in the right.  He can't shake you unless you let him and he has to be on his best behavior in front of the judge.


Is he still represented?



Yes he is still represented. Hopefully it will go fairly smoothly.
idunno1234
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

 I found pro se gives a certain amount of freedom-  you don't have to worry about the huge burden of legal fees that he does.  This is actually to your advantage in negotiating anything because you know you only have time to lose, him- much, much more.  Even if he has the money to waste on an attorney, it still hurts.


Quoting LauraMH:

Quoting idunno1234:

You shouldn't have any problem at all.  Your attorney's limited representation is enough to ensure you are doing everything you need to represent yourself in front of a judge.


If you are like me, you already know everything that you need to convey to the judge.  Have absolute and utter confidence in yourself because you know you are in the right.  He can't shake you unless you let him and he has to be on his best behavior in front of the judge.


Is he still represented?



Yes he is still represented. Hopefully it will go fairly smoothly.


 

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