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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116728
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I have previously been represented by an attorney for my custodial/visitation

Customer Question

I have previously been represented by an attorney for my custodial/visitation case with my sons father. We have already gone thru mediation and have court ordered partial judgment on visitation schedule. I have opted to let go of my attorney due to costs. I have a couple changes to make on our judgment. I have made a declaration. The father is a very difficult persona and has made my life very difficult and cant trust anything he says. I am in fear that since I dont have an attorney he will try to change the visitation partial judgment. We have a court appearance november 11th to follow up with the judge on submission of the judgment. He has also let go of his attorney. What are the chances the judge will change orders? Also I dont know what to bring to the court. Do they already have filed everything regarding our case thus far? All my copies have my attorneys name on them and she is no longer representing me. Am I able just to file my declaration at the court without a copy of the judgment? Will I be looked down upon by the judge that I have chosen to represent myself?

The father is uncooperative and is always asking for longer visitation with no notice which against court orders. If I dont agree with him he gets verbally abusive with me. Should I include this on my declaration? I am also requesting to swap weekends with father to accomodate my work schedule. The faher had agreed to change outside of court and than this past weekend refused to do it and didnt show up to pick up our son on saturday whcih was the weekend we planned to switch, than demanding eight hrs with our son the following day but it didnt work with my schedule and the court only gave him four hrs on weekends and thats what I planned around being it was halloween weekend. when i said no he called me a selfish bitch ande refused to see him at all and refused to swithc weekends which was agreed upon. Do I include this in my declartion to the court?Also do I need to include a background of our situatution in the declaration even though orders have been filed already on partial judgment?

I believe you dont have my [email protected]
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
For minor adjustments to the visitation schedule (like changing weekends to accommodate work schedules when that change would not cause conflict with the other parent) the courts expected the parents to resolve that without the court, but if they cannot the court will usually allow for and make those changes. As far as changes to major issues in the order, the court will not make changes on those unless the party requesting the change can prove there has been a significant change in circumstances since that order was granted such that a change would be warranted.

You would need to attach a copy of the order to your declaration so that the court would know what you are talking about in your declaration. If you have made good faith efforts to negotiate these changes without the court's intervention and the other party refused to negotiate or agreed to one thing and did the opposite, then you can point those things out in the declaration, but avoid just making blanket accusations that the other parent is a liar or unreasonable or untrustworthy, you show those things by the actual facts of what has occurred.

The courts are not thrilled with pro se litigants because they see them as wasting the court's time in that they rarely are familiar with the court rules, the rules or procedure and the rules of evidence. But when a pro se litigant comes in and they have familiarized themselves with all the rules and laws, the courts do not treat them any different than any other licensed attorney.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.


So I just talked with the father and he is going to turn in a declaration requesting more hrs with our son. He now gets four hrs from 1130-330 everyday except thursday. He wants six hours from 1030-430 this leaves me theree hours with our son before he is in bed for the nite. Do you advise I have an attorney to represent me? If I go to the court will they have an attorney that could represent me for cheaper?


I am unfamiliar with the exact laws and I am very nervous. So being our appearance is thursday, if I go down to the court today with my declaration to file and copy of the orders I should be okay?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
It is always best in these cases to be represented by an attorney, especially when you are not familiar with the procedures and laws involved with your case. Unfortunately, the legal system in the US fails in these cases as there is no obligation for the court to provide low cost or free counsel. The best you can do in that regard is go to legal aid and also call the state bar about pro bono attorneys to represent you if you can prove you are not able to afford an attorney for representation, but there is no guarantee on whether or not you would obtain low cost or free counsel as free counsel is only guaranteed in criminal cases.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What is the procedure at this court appearance, being that they already established orders. What does it mean by partial judgment?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
The court will hear evidence on his motion for the amendments to the order. A partial order is one where the court has not decided all issues in the case and that means that there are still issues that the court needs to issue orders on.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I being before the judge will he ask me if I agree? If I dont will we be sent back to mediation? How do I respond to amenments to the order? So the orders we have no are not set, and was more like a trial run?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
If your ex submits a declaration, you need to submit one objecting to his request and citing how his request is not in the best interests of the child. If the court believes mediation would work to resolve the issue, then they would order you back to mediation, but if it does not appear as though further mediation will work, the court will just decide to make the determination.

No, temporary orders would mean they are not permanent. Partial orders means they are just orders on some of the matters in dispute, but there are more matters in dispute the court still needs to rule upon.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My ex has told me he is going to make a declaration the day before court asking for longer visitation. I have not seen it in my declaration do I just explain that he has shared this with me vverbally and the reasons why I think it is not in the best interest of the child?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 years ago.
You need to just have your declaration objecting to his asking for more time ready to file when you walk into court and you would object to his filing the declaration and not serving you with a copy within 5 days of the hearing to give you the proper opportunity to object. This is another reason you should strongly consider an attorney because it would help you to stop him from doing things at trial "by ambush" meaning at the last minute without giving you copies and a chance to respond.

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