Thursday, January 17, 2013

10 Tips for the Self Represented in Family Court

If you are in pro per (self represented) and scheduled to go in front of a judge -- follow these 10 tips before your court date:

1. Be Prepared;
2. Understand your judge (consider observing his/her prior to the date of your hearing);
3. Don't assume your Judge has read your file (but don't ask, either);
4. Review local family law court rules (and Ca Rules of Court to understand procedure);
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); and
10. Stick to the issues before the court (You may 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!

Contact Erin Levine at Levine Law Group if you would like assistance with preparation for your court hearing and/or trial.


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