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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-03-2013, 09:32 PM
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Default Cross Examine STBX at Trial

I am now facing the very real possibility of full blown trial. At this stage, she will have major legal representation, and I am forced to self rep.

It's terrifying and I'm just adapting to this reality and preparing as best I can. I'm looking for help and advice as to the process during the trial itself.

Essentially we are facing a mountain of twisted financial issues. Thankfully kids are old enough and my relationship is rock solid with them, so custody/access is a non-issue... but Section 7 will rear it's head in many places.

My ignorant question of the day is... Do I get a chance to question (cross-examine?) her directly? Once, never, on each issue?? how does this work?

I mean for each issue, she (or her lawyer) gets her say.. then I get my say? Is this how this works?

Apologize if this has been covered directly... if so, any thread pointers would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:56 PM
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I'm sorry I can't help you, Someguy. I just want you to know that every time I read about your situation my heart breaks for you (and anyone forced to self-rep and is terrified).

Sure makes me wish I had the financial means to help people on this forum who are in a situation like yours. I can't help much with experience.

Guess I better start buying lottery tickets.

In the meantime, my thoughts are with you. Believe in yourself.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:57 PM
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And you should be feeling this way.

It is not an easy road you've laid out before yourself.

Are you completely sure the other sides position is untenable?
If so - spend as much time as you can watching proceedings at court. Studying case law, and learning how to present a logical and coherent argument for debate.

Yes, you will be able to call the other side to the stand. You will have to subpoena them, which requires paperwork and a monetary fee. At least, if you file the correct paperwork and follow the 'rules' you can, certainly.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:04 PM
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The monetary fee applies if you are cross-examining a third party. You don't have to pay your ex to get on the witness stand.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:34 PM
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I know how youre feeling. Ill be self repping at trial in november. Im super stressed about it. As someone mentioned, I have been studying case law. I need to make time to go observe some actual trials. :-(
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wretchedotis View Post

Are you completely sure the other sides position is untenable?
At the SC the justice came down squarely on my side for most of the issues still in dispute.

On what is becoming the "one big issue", at first glance judge said her position would be given "consideration". However, stbx then dropped out of the SC before I had a chance to present what I believe are compelling arguments in my favour. As the date approaches, this is my area focus, and I will learn and prepare to argue it accordingly.

Problem is, stbx has never made an OTS (the one in the SC brief was silly) so I really don't know what her ultimate position is.

and thanks everyone else for your comments
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:33 AM
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You don't need her OTS; some people never make one. You just need to focus on your own postition.

In her reply to your application she should have stated what she wants as an outcome for the trial.

It is extremely foolish for a party to just respond negatively - "No, I do not agree to what the other party is seeking." Each side should also present what THEY are seeking, in a positive way. "Positive" meaning that you include reasons why something should be so, not just negative reasons why the other side shouldn't get what they want.

You should be able to glean what she is seeking from her reply. If you cannot, then neither will the judge be able to, and this increases your chances.

At cross examination you want to ask questions around anything factual she has claimed. If possible, get her to contradict herself. As much as possible, try to stick to questions that require a yes or no answer. If you ask an open ended question, you will be asking for trouble; you are giving her an opportunity to say whatever she wants.

Keep your questions relevent to a factual matter. However you get her to contradict herself by asking a question so that it seems to look good to say yes when you compare it to one point, and then it seems to look bad when you compare it to another point.

An example: "You state in your reply that you are struggling to make ends meet and are working 60 hours a week. Is this true?" And then later, "You state that you are caring for the children immediately after school, and all weekend. Is this true?"

So sit down for a few hours and write out your questions according to a plan to have a series of connected replies that will show a full story.

Don't just ask questions randomly. You must have an intention to show something logically. The easier it is for the judge to follow the story, the more likely you will be successful. The more planned and organized you are, the better.

At the time of the trial, you should not have to think about what you are doing, you will be under too much stress. You should have everything planned out weeks ahead of time, and then practice, practice, practice.
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
You don't need her OTS; some people never make one.
So if she doesn't make an OTS... can she still make a claim for costs of any sort?
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
I am now facing the very real possibility of full blown trial. At this stage, she will have major legal representation, and I am forced to self rep.

It's terrifying and I'm just adapting to this reality and preparing as best I can. I'm looking for help and advice as to the process during the trial itself.
Hopefully you have some time to adapt to the reality and start preparing yourself.

Quote:
Essentially we are facing a mountain of twisted financial issues. Thankfully kids are old enough and my relationship is rock solid with them, so custody/access is a non-issue... but Section 7 will rear it's head in many places.
Consider yourself lucky. It much easier to deal with numbers than with custody

Quote:
My ignorant question of the day is... Do I get a chance to question (cross-examine?) her directly? Once, never, on each issue?? how does this work?

I mean for each issue, she (or her lawyer) gets her say.. then I get my say? Is this how this works?

Apologize if this has been covered directly... if so, any thread pointers would be much appreciated.
Yes. There is number of materials you need to read for the beginning.
starting with this tread

you can also try to get and and read
Cross-Examination: Science and Techniques, Second Edition

WD
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
So if she doesn't make an OTS... can she still make a claim for costs of any sort?
First of all, don't worry about costs. You are going to trial because the issue is importantant enough to fight for, and because you believe you have a case. Focus on that.

Costs can be awarded based on who "won." In most trials there is more than one issue. If she wins one issue, and you win another, then the judge may not award any costs. If there were no negotiations, no OTS, costs could still be awarded. If she wins and made no OTS, and you did, it won't matter, she may still be awarded costs.

But again, don't focus on this. Have your own OTS that is fair and what judge is close to, or better, than what a court would award. Show that you tried to avoid court. This will mitigate costs for you.
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