Challenges of Representing Yourself in a Family Law Case
Handling your legal case without an attorney can appear to be overwhelming. Before making the decision to represent yourself, you should recognize the challenges and honestly assess if acting as your own attorney is in your best interest. In this blog, I will highlight some of the challenges of representing yourself in court for a hearing that may be scheduled in your case.
When you represent yourself in court, you will need to meet deadlines set by the court, abide by any court rules and statutes, correctly choose and draft pleadings, and articulate your case clearly before the court. However tough this might seem, don’t get discouraged: In my next blog, I will outline resources that will help you overcome some potential challenges.
As a “pro se litigant,” meaning you are representing yourself, the court will hold you to the same standard of legal knowledge expected of an attorney. Thus, in order to present your case successfully in court and make a convincing legal argument, you will need to have time to prepare your case. To do so, you will need to find out the law governing the issue(s) presented in your case. Next, you must gather the evidence that will address the facts of your case as it pertains to the governing law.
To be persuasive, you must be organized and articulate when making your arguments and presenting your supporting evidence. You will need to collect numerous financial documents to share with your spouse, as well as with the court. Keeping a notebook of these documents, applicable laws, your argument(s), and your evidence will make it easier to find things when you need to.
Finally, you must be able to communicate your arguments regarding your financial position and what you may believe to be in your children’s best interests effectively to the court. You will need to talk calmly with your spouse, the opposing attorney, any witnesses, and the judge. To proficiently self-advocate, you will need to make logical arguments, provide evidence to support your arguments (if needed), and not get intimidated when challenged. It is vital to remain unafraid to speak up and advocate for yourself.
Although these challenges may appear daunting at first, with assistance and knowledge of where to find the appropriate resources, it is possible to overcome these challenges, and you can successfully present your case in court. Please check out our next Law Your Way blog to find the resources that will help you address these challenges.
The legal team at Harris Law Firm comprises highly skilled, award-winning attorneys. We are one of the largest family law practices in the state of Colorado and have helped thousands of clients in divorce and family law matters. We believe in settling a divorce collaboratively, with your child’s best interest at heart.
Call The Harris Law Firm at (303) 622-5502 today to speak to a legal professional.