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RayAnswers, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 42852
Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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I am going to be pro se in an upcoming family law matter.

Customer Question

I am going to be pro se in an upcoming family law matter. The opposing counsel has not sent me a list of witnesses or notified me at all that they will have witnesses. If they do not give me notice or the court any notice, can I object and potentially stop them from using their witnesses?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: This is an ongoing matter, my ex wife is trying to get back some of her custody
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I am really just looking for court proceedings advice, objections, common rules, etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Here since you are pro se call the lawyer and ask.No need to play games on this, tell them what witnesses you have, see if there are any facts you can stipulate to or exhibits ahead to time.You can presubmit your exhibits to the lawyer and ask for his as well.These are the kinds of things a lawyer would do.You want to scout the enemy here, see what you can find out, what things if any you can stipulate too.Also any documents you can agree to submit together again would shorten the hearing.

Do not be afraid of talking to the lawyer, they are supposed to try and see what can be agreed to, whether it be witnesses or documents or anything else.If you have an offer of settlement make it or ask them if they have one.Again your lawyer would do that since you are pro se you can do this.The lawyer is allowed under the rules to talk to you personally since you are pro se, any settlement discussions are generally not admissible.

It is always good strategy to try to get the other lawyer talking, see what can be agreed to, what points of disagreement here and what witnesses they have.This is good lawyering to do so.

If there is no scheduling order with witness, exhibit deadlines, then calling is the simplest thing to do.Kill them with kindness and besides the other side has to pay their lawyer.The longer you talk the more they have to pay.That alone might make them more agreeable to settle.

I have practiced this strategy for the last 30 years, helps you avoid surprises and plan more.

Write out your statement here--your opening in case you get nervous.Also you can read the statement into the record under oath as a witness, this makes sure you don't forget what to say.Also if there is a child involved the key is best interests of the child and why your presentation meets that test here.

I appreciate the chance to help.Let me know if you have more followup.Thanks again.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Good self help for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ray,I appreciate your advice, but I really do not feel that contacting her lawyer will be worth my time. I have full physical and primary custody of my kids. My ex wife only has supervised physical visitations, and I am allowed to monitor, record, and terminate her phone calls at any time they become inappropriate, she only gets (2) fifteen minute phone calls with the kids each week and she rarely uses them. She has been held in contempt of court no less than seven times and admonished by the court that if she even so much as hints at saying something negative about me in front of or to the kids she will lose all custody. She is on her fifth lawyer, third husband in two years, and has done nothing but threaten my life, call the cops, cps, and fbi on me, all of which have been unsubstantiated.I really just want to know if he has to submit a witness list to me or notify me if he intends to call any witnesses prior to the hearing. And, if he does not, can I object to the court hearing the witness, and on what basis?
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

No unless there is a scheduling order requiring it then no here she does not.I am sorry you are having to deal with all of this.

Thanks again.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

And it is your call here about whether to contact lawyer.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

I wish you the best, ***** ***** can positive rate it is much appreciated.