However, most pro se cases are pending in family court. The decision to appear is often associated with the need to save money. There are several things to keep in mind when representing yourself in family court.
Do your research
Most people have probably never participated in a lawsuit, much less represented themselves. Find out as much as you can about what is suitable for the courtroom. Many district courts offer pro se counseling for a small fee or at no cost to the parties. The information provided can help you prepare for the case. During preparation, it is important to seek advice from reliable sources.
If you present evidence, make sure the courts do not consider it hearsay. A statement that someone told you enters this arena. This becomes problematic in family courts when the child conveys information that needs to be heard. Since family courts generally do not allow children to testify, this can be frustrating for everyone involved. Be sure to provide copies of all written statements, etc., to the opposition attorney and the judge or magistrate.
When preparing your case, it is important to outline the most important points you want to make and be prepared to back them up with exact dates, times, etc. If your ex doesn’t meet the support or parenting deadline, make sure you have a list of the dates and time it happened, and imagine them. Keeping a record of this information is extremely helpful if you need to go to court.
Prepare your application and be sure to listen to what the opposing attorney has to say. Take notes and seek their opinions when it is your turn to speak. (Never argue or interrupt; it can hurt your case.)
Know your rights and keep track of deadlines
While you should give the opposing attorney everything you prepare, they should do the same for you. Most cases are processed electronically and in a pro se case you can go to court to request any documents that were emailed to the court software. Otherwise, you should receive them in the mail. Typically, if a response or response is required, it has relatively short processing times, so going to court is one way to ensure you get your documentation on time. Introducing yourself can be a daunting task, but with preparation, you can be successful.
* This is not intended to be used as legal advice. As always, before making important legal decisions, consult professional family court Singapore maintenance first.