All You Need to Know About Self Representation
There are many situations that
warrant self-representation in court. Unless it is a criminal case, an individual is not
entitled to representation by an attorney, and legal fees are expensive.
In instances that do not
require intense legal argument and are more concerned with documentation, such
as completing a guardianship form, then
an individual may choose to represent themselves. Many people seeking
guardianship of a minor or disabled adult decide to represent themselves instead of
paying the legal fees associated with hiring an attorney.
An individual who decides that
self-representation is the best option for them may still choose to consult
with a guardianship attorney before they complete the
guardianship forms. A lawyer who specializes in family law will be able to provide the
petitioner with all of the information regarding the legal process of obtaining
guardianship, as well as all of the legal responsibilities that a guardian
In order to begin the legal
process an individual must complete the guardianship forms. This will require
the petitioner to collect information about the minor that they are seeking
guardianship of, as well as the consent and signatures of the parents of the
child on the guardianship form. If the parents of the child refuse to agree to
the establishment of a guardianship and will not sign the guardianship forms,
then both parties will have to appear in court.
Once you have completed the
guardianship forms and have returned them to the county clerk's office with the
filing fee, it may take up to eight weeks for the court to schedule a hearing.
During this time the petitioner should be collecting evidence to support their
case. Completing a guardianship form is only the first step to the process. The individual who is petitioning for
custody of the child will then need to
provide evidence that the child's parents are unfit to care for the child. Self-representation
may be stressful and overwhelming. There are some tips that may help you.
When you begin filling out a guardianship form,
start thinking about the day that you will appear in court. When a petitioner
appears in court, they are trying to convince the judge that being in their
care is the best option for the child. Therefore, the individual who completed
the guardianship form must appear professional and polite. The court will
notice the way that you present yourself. You should be respectful and
courteous to everyone, including the parents of the child. Make sure that you
are dressed neatly and conservatively.
will be looking to see if you can provide the child with a good example. Make
sure that you arrive on time to the hearing. Also, be prepared to provide the
judge with any information that they may request. The way that you present
yourself during the hearing is just as important as the information that you
provide on the guardianship forms. This court appearance will influence the
judge's decision regarding your capability as a guardian.