6 Comments Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders
I've done it twice, very simple first time just asked a few questions by the registrar who heard the case to ascertain the affidavit was correct. The second time I appeared for a friend, by leave of the court, before a judge. She was contesting a custody and access application. This was more difficult particularly as the other side had a barrister acting for them. However I asked the witnesses sensible questions and refuted the arguments of the other side. We won.
hi , i'm a self represented respondent in the family court .w.a. my advice to you is tell the truth and annex evidence in your affidavits this is very important ...... also all conversations to the other party must be in writing..if you engage a lawyer . in the brief write that the other party must not contact them by phone ,everything in writing.this creates a history. when your lawyer phones you with advice ...lier... when its in writing ...lawyer... be aware of this i would advise you to not take calls .when they call ,call them back talk to the assistant and ask for it in writing .this will keep your costs down and you will have a record of all conversations... be careful what you say /do .as your behavior will be noted by the other party and there friends. get affidavits in support of you r behavior etc.
if there are children involved .remember.kids =cash. ALWAYS act in the best interests of the children... when you boil it all down thats all that is important ....you will win if you keep them insulated ,,never discuss or denigrate the other party in front of them. this is NOT there idea .they love dad and mum.....although you are not together any more you still are the parents of your most prized assets .
buckle up and stay strong for your kids....they are the real victims.
Thanks Martin and HD. Good Advice i'll keep it in mind. I have been given only two days to prepare for an 'urgent' hearing. She is claiming I have taken out new mortgages against the house which I can easily disprove, however she threw in $400 per week spousal maintenance for good measure.
Legal representation will cost me up to 5K so I figure I may as well take my chances. Her lawyer appears to be providing poor advice that is effectively reducing the property pool.
OK, good luck, keep your head at the hearing, and don't get emotional, point out to the court that you are representing yourself as you are unable to afford legal representation and you certainly cannot afford $400 per week for her maintenance especially when she is able to work. Lay it on a bit, and try to avoid agreeing to anything. Feel free to ask for an adjournment if you get bogged down, point out the short notice you received.
Just an update. She didn't get the $400 per week and the Senior Registrar described me as candid and commendable. I was ordered to continue meeting the mortgage payments for the house which she is living in, but I was meeting these costs anyway - so all in all a good result and I got some valuable experience representing myself in court.
We have been ordered to attend a conciliation conference in December followed by a full court appearance in January.
I wonder, does anybody know of any support/advice groups of people going through this( self representation) where we can share knowledge and ideas?
Anyway thanks for your help. Round one over. Now for round two. ding! ding!