3 Reasons Not To Represent Yourself Prose in Family Law Court

Family Law proceedings can be difficult to endure alone, and representing yourself prose will almost certainly result in frustration and confusion. Regardless of how confident and prepared you might think you are before appearing in court, there will still likely be something that you overlooked. This can include a procedure that you failed to follow or a legality that you were unaware of.

Nevertheless, hiring an attorney to represent you in court will not only save you time and stress but will make sure your rights are protected under the law.

Here are three reasons why you should not represent yourself pro se in family law court:

Procedural Law

The procedures associated with the law involve guidelines that many civilians aren’t aware of, such as registering your appearance to appear in court or submitting evidence.

Judges see prose litigants all the time and most certainly get irritated and frustrated when dealing with someone that is unaware of how the law operates. Family law runs on a very clear-cut set of rules and when you’re representing yourself, you’re expected to understand them before you step in front of the court.

If you fail to submit documents associated with your case or miss a court date, don’t expect any sympathy or understanding from the judge or the jury.         

Emotional Un-Appeal

An individual who represents themselves prose can often have a difficult time dissociating themselves from their case, especially in family law where a person is most vulnerable. This can result in failing to present your case in a competent and efficient manner. Your frustration to respond appropriately to the opposing party could very well get the best of you, resulting in inappropriate behavior such as crying or yelling.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as sympathy in family court. Being unable to present your case in a calm manner because of emotions will only irritate the judge and wreak havoc on your case.

Inexperience

A prose litigant almost always lacks the training, experience, and knowledge necessary to represent themselves successfully.

For instance, judges are bothered when asked about next step procedures such as what necessary documents to file. They have other cases to see that day and do not have time to explain proceedings when it is not their job to do so. A lot of times, especially with complicated cases, litigants will ask the judge for advice to which the judge will bluntly inform you that they cannot offer any. Such a response from a person of power will leave you feeling depleted and confused.

Judges prefer their courtroom to run smoothly and being able to effectively communicate with an experienced and trained attorney makes their job easier.

Additionally, an attorney has certain privileges that prose litigants do not, including discussing your case with the judge before even presenting your case in front of the court. Attorneys present several cases a day in front of likely the same judge, and therefore have presumably already built a rapport with them. Having someone on your side that understands how the court system works will be a lot less stressful for you and everyone involved.

We Can Help

The procedural demands, evidentiary requirements, and legal issues of the legal system can be difficult to understand for anyone other than an educated and trained professional who understands and practices the law.

With the help of our attorneys, we will ensure that your family law case runs as smoothly as possible. For more information, questions about your upcoming case, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today!

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