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Question about Family Court

Started by MixedBag, May 24, 2008, 08:20:49 AM

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Is family court getting friendlier towards pro-se litigants or the diy'ers by providing the forms to fill out?

WV does it.

AL doesn't.

How about your state?



Not to start a confrontation but for sake of correctness I think you are confused about self representation.  It is definitely not mediation.

Pro-Se litigation encompasses a lot more than filling out forms ... in fact if one starts 'filling out forms' then the litigant becomes an extension of the court which they are trying to defeat or embarrass.  One must present relevant facts not limited by some standard form.

Likewise, pro-se litigants are not concerned with being friendly as if they were running for high school prom queen.  Certainly they may strive to comform with court room decorum and respectable professionalism but they are not expected to dot all the i's or cross all the t's as if they graduated from Harvard Law school (numerous U.S Supreme Ct rulings).

One of the biggest advantage I discovered was that when interviewing / hiring an attorney the attorney 'would know' he /she would be expected to overcome the status quo.

Other characterisctics :

- know the words to motion for the dismissal of an attorney
- always scrutinize the case file for surprises before each hearing
- know the criteria for the recusal of the judge
- become a regular casual observer in the judges' court room
- more easily counter opposing attorneys and witnesses because you are fully aware of the facts
- learn how to manage your case
- better anticipate opponents behavior
- a judge knows a pro se litigant is likely to say anything because they are not part of the system and do not have to appear the next day on another case (this is the big reason judges don't favor pro se litigants)
- oppostion is more cautious since they are aware you are capable of filing without the cost of an attorney.
- gain confidence if dealing with opposing attorney (become a bigger smart ass than they are) and they don't want to lose their livelihood  

there's so much more ........... a common person of average intelligence (meaning they can read) can have a signifcant positive impact on their case  


I wasn't talking about mediation.  I'm a trained mediator, yes.

But I'm talking about states that are out there that "help" pro-se, self-represented folks even get started.

Here in Alabama, there isn't a single form, example, nothing available in the three counties I live near to help folks file anything.

However, in WV, our county has this stuff.

I agree that for most folks, going pro-se isn't the answer.

On the flip side, I've been pro se during several rounds (4 I think) against my EX#2, and in the end, I think I was successful.  Took a few tries, but our son is a happier camper now.

With EX#1, our divorce was British, and then we both moved to the states.  The one time we went to court here in the states, I didn't have an attorney, he did....and while I really didn't know what I was doing back then looking back at it, I did manage to get his attorney to re-write and re-word an order based on me threatening to take it all back to court after our hearing.    Funny, I was CP, and for the 17 years since the divorce, we went to court once.  When I was NCP from second divorce, we went to court 4 times......and now I'm CP.

Even for my third divorce, I was pro-se, BUT I let him file mainly because there was no information out there on what to file and how to get started......so I let him pay the attorney and the filing fee and it worked.  I still "got everything I wanted" in the end, but there were no children involved too, and it was really a simple divorce.

So how helpful is the state you deal with in providing forms to even get started for pro se litigants???