In the United States, individuals are allowed to represent themselves for civil or family court cases, although state laws may impose some limitations upon self-representation. Individuals pursuing self-representation do so for a variety of reasons, including attempting to save money on legal fees, a strong personal interest, or familiarity with the legal details of the case. Unfortunately, many individuals that choose to represent themselves in family court do not achieve positive outcomes in their cases for a variety of reasons. In today's blog post, we'll look at four common mistakes that can occur when representing oneself in family court.
Lack of Familiarity with Texas Family Law
Becoming a Family Law attorney takes years of formal education, rigorous studies, and in-depth familiarity with court proceedings and Texas Family Law. Most individuals that pursue self-representation do not have extensive knowledge of the Texas Family Code, court rules and procedures or previous cases that could impact their own case. As a result of inexperience and unfamiliarity with the Texas Family Code and court rules and procedures, individuals representing themselves jeopardize their chance for a successful legal outcome, whether they are pursuing divorce, child custody or division of assets.
Missed Deadlines or Court Appearances
Another common mistake that can arise when self-representing in Family Court is missed deadlines or court appearances. Due to the backlog of pending cases in Texas Family Courts, it is crucial that all parties involved are prompt and do not miss filing deadlines or court appearances. These mistakes can completely derail a family court case, causing delays, sanctions and even an unfavorable outcome.
Providing Insufficient Evidence
In many Family Court cases, both parties are required to submit supporting evidence such as financial statements, legal documents, and other key pieces of information relevant to the case. However, self-representing individuals can easily submit incorrect or insufficient evidence, thus hurting their chance for a successful outcome.
Becoming Too Emotionally Invested
Often, individuals that choose to represent themselves in family court do so out of a strong personal conviction that they can best advocate their needs and present a strong legal case. Unfortunately, self-representing individuals are often too emotionally invested to work objectively with opposing counsel or the other parties. They are less likely to seek an equitable and peaceful resolution with the other party, and can become unreasonable in their demands or expectations. As a result, they will often not receive a favorable legal outcome.
If you need legal representation in Texas Family Court for divorce, child custody, division of assets, or any other family law matter, contact the Family Law attorneys of Christiansen Law Firm. With offices in Houston and San Antonio, Christiansen Law Firm has extensive experience defending the rights of clients in Texas Family Court, and will strive for a positive outcome. Contact Christiansen Law Firm to schedule a free consultation, or go online to request additional information.