The courtroom can be a pretty intimidating place. Often, parents representing themselves don’t know where to stand, what to say, or may not even understand what’s actually going on.
Given the complexity of the law and court procedure, certainly non-lawyers representing themselves are held to a lesser standard, right?
Well, actually, no. Self-represented parents are expected to know how to handle their case, just like a lawyer would.
The courts have created sets of forms and instructions parents facing a divorce or custody case can use for free. These forms can be found at county superior court websites and are often found in the “Self Service Center.”
While the forms are helpful and a useful resource, in my experience, parents often struggle to understand the forms and frequently fill the forms out incorrectly.
Recently a mother, seeking custody of her young daughter, came to see me. She had started her case representing herself and didn’t feel like she was getting anywhere. When I looked back at the papers she had filed with the court on her own, I found that, although she had used the court’s standard forms, she had used an incorrect form and had not made the requests to the court she truly wanted to make.
Then, a father came to see me, a father who was fighting to simply spend time with his son. Getting favorable custody orders that guaranteed him regular parenting time was key, yet in review of the papers he’d filed on his own with the court, I found that he hadn’t actually made the requests he wanted to make and, instead, had put forth somewhat confusing requests and positions.
For both of these parents, the outcome of their cases had a huge impact on their lives – these decisions determined how much time they each would get to spend with their kids. Although the court forms were better than nothing, neither of these parents understood how to use the forms or how to make the proper requests to achieve successful outcomes with their cases.
Are you considering using the court forms for a divorce or custody case? Have you already started your case using the forms, but feel confused and lack confidence with your case?
You don’t have to be completely alone in this challenging and unfamiliar court process. You can obtain free legal information designed to help you with your divorce or custody case.
Interested? If so, you’re invited to join me, Arizona Lawyer Julie LaBenz, for a free on-line training where I’ll share how to use my 6 step divorce system to achieve an effective and efficient case outcome.
I’ve designed this system in an effort to simplify the divorce and child custody court process for parents that can’t afford or don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an attorney.
Instead of saying, “But Judge, I didn’t know …,” click here to discover how to use my 6 Step System to empower yourself with legal information you can actually use.
Thinking about handling your divorce without a lawyer using the court’s fill in the blank forms? Or have you already started using the court’s divorce forms, are finding them difficult to use and are running into problems? Need help with your divorce papers? If so, consider joining Julie’s HELP WITH DIVORCE PAPERS members’ area to gain instant access to written and video explanations of the entire divorce process along with easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank court forms created to empower you with legal information to help you achieve a fair and efficient divorce case outcome without breaking the bank. To learn more and to sign up, click here.
Wonder if it would be possible for you to get divorced in 90 days without stepping foot in a courtroom? Click Here to sign up to take our free quiz to find out if you are a good fit for a 90 day divorce.
Julie A. LaBenz has been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 2006. She is currently located in majestic Sedona, Arizona and focuses her law practice on divorce, estate planning and probate. To discuss your case with Julie, call 928-284-0909.