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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 09-04-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Trial coming up & I have a ton of questions..please help!

This is my second post on this forum so please forgive me if there is too much info on the post.

I had a lawyer until last week when I was told that he needed a 10 grand or more retainer to go to trial. So going forward I will be self represented, that being said I have no clue what to do and have a million questions. So I will try to ask a few key questions here and try not to bog down the forum too much.

I will say that I have tried with no success not to got to trial, I have sent 3 offers to settle that have all been ignored. In my last OTS I said that I was willing to go to mediation which again has been ignored. In the beginning of our separation my Ex said she would be willing to do anything and everything to remain friends. She kept using the phrase 'in the best interest of the children' then as soon as I would not do what she told me it was game over. She started to get hostile and would not try to work things out. She sent me a 70 page separation agreement that was outrageous (had clauses in there such as I could only see the children at Christmas every other year) Then when I would sign it, I was the one who was being unreasonable and argumentative. So that is how things got started, pretty much has been down hill ever since. I thought things would get better when I got a lawyer, but it did not. I would send a question or request through her lawyer via my lawyer, the reply would be 5 questions/issues for me and no reply to my original question. This included the issue of financial disclosure which I have asked her (via her lawyer) for 7 times and it has been ordered by the courts now twice. She has not sent me nor filed a financial disclosure and our trial is days away (as soon as the Trial Co-ordinator calls) So I do not know what my options are? I asked this question in another post and got some answers (which were very helpful) What I want to know is what/how to ask for the court to compel her to disclose this information? If she has not obeyed 2 court orders already why would she follow something else?

Some of the other questions I have are just overall trial questions. Other then watching the occasional episode of Law and Order I have never been involved in a trial.
I would be grateful for anyone's help on these questions:

*How do I present evidence? I have some documents that prove things she is saying are not true.

*What are some questions that I should ask, and other issues that I should stay away from?

*What should I say in my 'opening argument'?

I suppose I could go on and on with the questions I have going on in my head right now. Like our son has asthma (pretty severe) and she is a smoker, do I bring this up? I want to make myself look good and do no want to spend time trying to make her look bad (does that make sense) ...Please help!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:37 PM
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My recommendation is to maintain a dignified, respectful manner towards your wife and her lawyer at all times. Go to court and observe some cases. There is enough information on this forum to answer many of your questions. Be prepared to spend lots and lots of time researching your issues.

My son had severe asthma and I am a smoker. Naturally I didn't smoke around him. If my ex brought that up he'd be laughed out of the courtroom. Sticks and stones etc.

A 70 pg separation agreement? Someone's lawyer is raking in the cash.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:41 PM
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These are on the NS website, but should be helpful.

Self Represented Litigants Videos | novascotia.ca

Self Represented Litigants Videos | novascotia.ca
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post

My son had severe asthma and I am a smoker. Naturally I didn't smoke around him. If my ex brought that up he'd be laughed out of the courtroom. Sticks and stones etc.
I agree with the sticks and stones, which is what I dont want this to be as it goes no where fast. I would do nothing other then treat my ex and her lawyer with respect, that goes with out saying. Thanks for your thoughts and reply.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:01 PM
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Good way to start would be

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...52/#post104347

also make sure you serve your offer to settle at least 7 days before trial...
if you do have time prepare and serve Request to admit which may shorten your trial and give judge good message...

WD
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:24 AM
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Definitely your are facing an intimidating situation. At no time should you belittle her or make personal attacks. You must narrow down the issues, whatever they are, and they must be relevant and factual. Not "I believe, I feel, I think" but FACT.

Go and observe some court sessions. You will need to learn about cross examination, examination in chief etc. Opening arguments, closing arguments. There are rules as to when offers to settle must be served by.

I hope for you that it does not go to Trial. Wow - a 70 pg Sep Agreement?! You didn't actually sign that did you?

Certainly there are portions of that (likely) nutty manifesto that you can use for your materials. IE: the "every other Christmas" access.

I don't know how it works but there's www.justicenet.com and Legal Shield that might assist you. You can find a post about Legal Shield on this forum (I think it was posted by Berner Faith) and just google Justice Net.

Good Luck.
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:33 AM
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There's plenty of books out there but one I find particularly informative is "Surviving your Divorce" A Guide to Family Law, by Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B.
(5th Edition) Published by WILEY.

For $30 it's a great reference guide and includes a section on "How to Represent Yourself in Court."

You'll find it very helpful, I assure you. Chapters/Indigo carries it. There is an entire chapter (17) on Self-Representation. As well, it goes into great detail about alternatives to Court: mediation/arbitration, etc. WORTH the $30 and a handy reference guide for Family Law.

Get this book first. Then get "Splitting" by William (Bill) Eddy. Read both from cover to cover.

Last edited by hadenough; 09-05-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 09-05-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
There's plenty of books out there but one I find particularly informative is "Surviving your Divorce" A Guide to Family Law, by Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B.
(5th Edition) Published by WILEY.

For $30 it's a great reference guide and includes a section on "How to Represent Yourself in Court."

You'll find it very helpful, I assure you. Chapters/Indigo carries it. There is an entire chapter (17) on Self-Representation. As well, it goes into great detail about alternatives to Court: mediation/arbitration, etc. WORTH the $30 and a handy reference guide for Family Law.

Get this book first. Then get "Splitting" by William (Bill) Eddy. Read both from cover to cover.
I am not arguing that thous are must read but I think in his case it late for thous books. He need to get ready for trial ASAP...
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:35 PM
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Thanks for all the replies and helpful info.

No I did not sign it, should have said "wouldn't sign it" The SA was ridiculous and had nothing in it for me. Another point was that I paid child support until the kids were 24.

As for not going to trial, that I am afraid is not an option as all I am waiting for is the phone call of when it is.

I served the newest offer to settle on August 28th to her (via her lawyer) and have yet to hear anything from them. I also asked (again) for her financial disclosure before trial so I could be prepared.

I agree with keeping things relevant and factual which is what I am trying to do in my notes. Just keep it about the kids not turn it into something more.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough
There's plenty of books out there but one I find particularly informative is "Surviving your Divorce" A Guide to Family Law, by Michael G. Cochrane, LL.B.
(5th Edition) Published by WILEY.

For $30 it's a great reference guide and includes a section on "How to Represent Yourself in Court."

You'll find it very helpful, I assure you. Chapters/Indigo carries it. There is an entire chapter (17) on Self-Representation. As well, it goes into great detail about alternatives to Court: mediation/arbitration, etc. WORTH the $30 and a handy reference guide for Family Law.

Get this book first. Then get "Splitting" by William (Bill) Eddy. Read both from cover to cover.
I am not arguing that thous are must read but I think in his case it late for thous books. He need to get ready for trial ASAP...
Today 08:33 AM
Perhaps you should let the OP speak for himself. I found "Surviving your Divorce" an excellent resource when I bought it almost a year ago. The chapter on self-representation is only 25 pages, so it can be read quickly.
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