Representing yourself Pro Se or In Pro Per

I am not an attorney and neither can I or will I give legal advice but the quote from ABRAHAM LINCOLN who said: “A man who represents himself, has a fool for a client” comes to mind when someone wants to represent themselves in family court !

Here are my reasons for being extra cautious when considered representing yourself in family court:

  1. You are emotionally compromised. You will find it very hard to represent yourself logically and dispassionately
  2. Judges don’t like ‘amateurs’ in their court rooms. They want things done smoothly and very rarely have I seen a judge treat the pro se party with patience and respect
  3. The experienced attorneys don’t just know how to develop a good litigation strategy they also have relationships with other attorneys (opposing counsel) and judges sometimes, and most importantly they know how the system works
  4. The administrative challenges of a court proceeding are fairly extensive. Experienced attorneys have paralegals who handle the details. A Pro Se party will struggle just keeping up with all the procedural minutae; there are a few services that offer ‘paralegal’ style services but these are the exception and not the rule.

Now having said that, if you are forced to go Pro Se and represent yourself , for example because you are out of funds, then there are some things to be aware of which are outlined in the following Representing yourself by the California Courts .

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