Top Mistakes People Make When Representing Themselves

by Susan C. Ryan, Esq.

SCR1. Dress for success, not for a night on the town!

2. Be prepared to present your case to the court. Tell the judge why you are there, what you want the court to do, and why the court should do what you request.

3. Interrupting the judge and the other party is definitely a no-no! Wait your turn, and speak directly to the judge, not to the other party.

4. Play nice, but do not roll over or feel you have to agree with the other side or opposing counsel. You are entitled to present your case directly to the court.

5. You do not have to sign anything, but if you do, remember it could be a problem in the future. Before signing, ask yourself, can I live with these terms?

6. When presenting your case to the judge or a mediator, be short, sweet, and to the point! Don't repeat things over and over.

7. Representing themselves! It is important to have a family law attorney assist you in navigating the court process.

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