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Representing Self in Court /Visitation/ Help

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posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 10:41 AM
I am about to go to court for visitation for my son. Unfortunately I have to represent myself in this matter. Dont worry my wife does not have a lawyer either. She has basically lied her way through everything. She says I do drugs, am violent and a bad a Father. None of these things are true and she has hid my son from me for 2 months.
I just want to know if their are any pointers anybody could give me for representing myself and how not to screw this up? Any ideas would be good ones. Also has anybody gone through this before and what should I expect?

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:00 AM
Hey, good luck.

I just googled this quickly, 'support for fathers' something like that, try it, see what you come up with. Anyway, you probably can find some info here:

American Coalition For Fathers And Children

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:08 AM
Thank you for the link.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:16 AM
There's a saying that anyone that represents themselves in court has a fool for a client. If you can't afford a lawyer isn't there a service in your area where you can get a free consultation?

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:42 AM
I have been through this all before, and here is what I learned ahead of time and it was very helpful.

#1 Speak only when addressing the judge and do not interrupt the opposing party.

#2 Do not attack your ex in any way. State your case as blunt and forward as you can without dragging anything negative about her into the situation unless it is very relevant. Do not turn it into a he said she said. If the other party does, let them, but do not respond unless the judge is looking for a response.

#3 Dress for court. I know that this should go without saying, but you will get more respect from the judge if you appear respectably.

#4 Write up everything ahead of time that will help you with your case so that you have a good reference guide to read from. It saves you looking like a bumbling baffoon, and you can state your case clearly and concisely.

#5 Have a definition of the time that you would like to receive and figure out all of the transportation issues and everything else ahead of time. This gives you the appearance of being well put together and more deserving of the time you are requesting.

These are some of the things that I did, and everything went pretty much in my favor. If you don't go in asking for ridiculous things it is more likely that it will go your way. I had everything laid out before I went into the court room from transportation to meals so that if asked I had an answer. Good luck, and I hope some of this helps.

edit on 11/10/2012 by SpaDe_ because: ...

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:49 AM
Thank you all for the support and advice. I never thought I would ever find myself in this situation.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 12:01 PM
You will be on trial....

Dress for a Courtroom.

Every move you make will be scrutinized.

This is not the judges first day. They will quickly spot the liar.

Never speak out of turn (it was mentioned above but cannot be said enough).

Let your love and support be obvious to the judge.

Just let her talk....Give people enough rope, they usually hang themselves.

Good Luck.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by kenny71

im no lawyer, but id say evidence is always a good thing. go do a drug test quietly and supply it as evidence when she brings that point up after you make the assertion that she is being dishonest. that wont sit well with the judge i figure and could severely weaken her case.

also take into consideration, she could be lying and come court day will be there with a lawyer to lynch ur ass haha
edit on 10-11-2012 by 0mage because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by kenny71

Stay calm, cool and collected. Do not lose your temper; be very good mannered and respectful; no matter what your ex says or does. This will show the judge that your child is safe around you.. Tell the truth; and talk about yourself in a positive way.

I hope and pray you win your visitation rights.

Does your ex lose her temper easily? Because if she does; think of a clever way (still being polite) to bring up something that will make her lose her temper; while you are keeping your cool; this will look good for you.

Plan a strategy.

edit on 10-11-2012 by caladonea because: edit

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 12:53 PM
Learn the laws that govern child custody in your state and county.

Then you address the law. Chances are that your ex has no legal presidence for hiding you child from you, and that therefore she is at risk of violating your custody rights.

They have to prove you have drug or alcohol problems before they can take away your custody rights. If there is no legal history that you have these problems then chances are they have to grant you custody rights.

You need to request that the judge tell you the legal basis for his decisions. Look up your rights on line. See if you can get legal representation on a charity basis.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by caladonea

Its funny that you mentioned that. I have a daughter from a previous relationship and the Mother of my daughter came to the first appearence as a character witness. She wasnt too thrilled. My son and my daughter have never met.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 01:43 PM
I'm hoping you didn't mean like later today. If you did good luck and God speed. If not I noticed your location is D.C. so i looked up this seems like a viable option.

Family Court Self-Help Center

The Family Court Self-Help Center is a free walk-in service that provides unrepresented people with general legal information in a variety of family law matters such as divorce, custody, visitation, and child support.

Moultrie Courthouse
500 Indiana Avenue, NW, JM-570
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 879-1471

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
(No intakes accepted after 4:30 pm)

also maybe this

this looks like a good one ~nm on this one it seems kind of strange I think it might just be a runaround site to try and get you to buy something idk??~

a $0.99 ebook Poor Dad's Guide to Getting Visitation
edit on 10-11-2012 by Josephus because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by kenny71

Go back in this thread and read what SpaDe_ and whyamihere have stated. Write those points down, and rehearse them until your court date. Add to the list:

Always address the judge/magistrate as "Your Honor." (Use those two words before speaking.)

The truth of the matter is the courts always want the father involved. Make sure you tell the magistrate that you wish to be involved in your child's life. They appreciate fathers who care about their children.

Keep your chin up, and keep us posted.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 11:10 PM
The best way to start visitation is to do so in a manner that is best for your child. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to pick the child up from school on a Friday and drop him off to school on Monday. This gives the child an eight hour break between parents in a well known environment.

It also means that you don't have to see your ex and thus the child does not have to listen to one or both parents being dicks. The rest of the thread has some good advice. I am in Australia and our system is very different.

Good luck, all children need their dads.


posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 10:15 AM
Op, im very concerned for you. Ive done four options, fought a traffic ticket in what michigan calls an informal hearing (just a fake judge and a cop, no lawyers), criminal court for a misdemeanor with a court appointed attourney. Representing myself, i was chewed up and spit out. With the court appointed lawyer i wasnt helped much by the lawyer and went behind his back and called the prosecutor and victim regarding the victims inability to go to court. (even this was better than representing self).

Another one i did was i hired a real (corrupt) lawyer for a speeding ticket to the tune of 18 mph over. very very corrupt county all around who basically wanted me to fight the ticket and knew it was bs...

And i also called "michigan legal aide" at one point with a landlord dispute. Didnt actually go to court but these people were great. You just had to be broke (i worked at walmart).

When i represented myself, i was disrespected, had extreme anxiety to the point i could barely speak, and wasted my time. There was definitely corruption there too, but atleast the county didnt sell my info to lawyers to send me junkmail lol....

Anyway, if you cant afford a lawyer, are you POSITIVE you cant get a free one? Michigan legal aide was non profit, had damn good lawyers that you would otherwise pay for, they werent junk like court appointed attourneys. Just doing pro bono work with good quality. I think theyre required to do a certain amount for free every year

I dont feel that youre going to get anywhere by yourself.

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