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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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  #1  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:29 AM
Serene Serene is offline
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I have seen many posts on people who are self representing at an upcoming trial, but I have not seen much on people who have done it...

We are contemplating self representating to save on costs. We are drowning in legal fees and are not getting any where. To make a long story short, everything is a battle with the mother of the children. Everything. Recently she has involved CAS and other authorities and made serious allegations which have all went unfounded. We are confident that even a layman can prove that her preoccupation with our lives and the father's relationship with the children is unhealthy and the foundation for the "high conflict" issues surrounding anything and everything to do with the children...

We have always maintained that the children should have equal and unfettered access to both parents. She on the other hand, has resolved that the father should have minimal contact with the children (much less than he has currently despite a liberal separation agreement that provides unlimited time with the children of the marriage).

I'm curious what people's experiences are having gone through a trial, having let go of their legal rep in advance. We have always had strong representation thus far, but we have gotten no where essentially, and not because our lawyers weren't good, but in reality because the mother just refuses to do anything, even refuses to comply with the separation agreement on the smallest of things...

We'd like my partner to represent me and I see that we need special permission. We will ask for that. We'd also like to continue offers to settle and negotiating, just not interested in paying a lawyer for this...

Thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:42 AM
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I have not done it but you might want to consider using your lawyer only for court.

Do all the paperwork etc yourself and have him be there in front of a judge.

I'm not sure all lawyers would agree with this though...Just a thought.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:50 AM
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We thought of that as well... I suspect our lawyer won't go for it. They can't keep their schedule open (or will say this anyhow) for the trial that is upcoming and they will argue a thousand reasons why this is not feasible (for them). And we are willing to take our chances. Thus far, we have done a good job of remaining neutral and compromising on many things. The one thing we will not compromise on is removing joint custody for the mother to have sole custody. Nor are we willing to reduce access to father. The issues are simple when you look at the big picture and the mother has been very unsuccessful at proving us to be unfit...

I wonder how we know when to file our papers (the timeline to do so) so we don't miss any deadlines...
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:19 PM
firhill firhill is offline
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What stage of the process are you at?
What is your next court appearance for and when is it?
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:28 PM
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Our next court appearance is our trial in 3 months time.

The judge made several recommendations at the case conference and we attempted to propose an offer to settle based on those recommendations (and just those) and it was refused.

We also had to have emergency court motions (we requested leave since we were already scheduled for trial) since the mother refused many things, including summer and holiday schedules...
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:45 PM
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How would I get in touch with them? I'm new to this site and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to PM them... I would love to read up on these and reach out to them after having a good read of their info.

At the trial do you bring up jurisprudence from canlii? Where do you slip in those references?
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:04 PM
sahibjee sahibjee is offline
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workingdad's case is indeed there, but its a highly unusual one. I have tried representing my self in the past for a few appearances before two different judges. I will advise against it, i sat there for a few other cases, i will advise highly against representing yourself specially if the other party is represented. here is why
1- the judges very frequently take liberties against a self representing litigant which they cant take against represented litigents i.e. not allowing the self-rep to make an argument and constantly shut them down, make orders that neither party has asked for.
2- you wont be able to handle the maneuvers the other lawyer will pull on you.
3- if it comes to costs the judge is more likely reject your argument on costs of the applicant and thus impose pretty much every thing the other counsel has asked for.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:11 PM
Serene Serene is offline
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Perhaps I should explain a bit more:

The mother has ample spousal and child support (over 3K a month) and is able to make as much as she wants through work (this was negotiated in the SA) and her new husband. We on the other hand are on a limited income given we are paying an enormous amount of SS and CS and now legal costs.
It cost us over 15K just to secure a summer schedule. And now we are headed for a trial and even if we give the 20K retainer, it will run short and fast. Essentially, we will run out of money before the trial takes place any how. So might as well pocket it now and put it towards good use.

What do you mean by maneuvers? What can they pull? The law is the law, yes there is ambiguity, yes there is subjectivity...but if mom is denying dad access, has called every authority there is and not one of them finds fault with him or his family...and if we have communications and police reports for abusive and toxic behaviours from mom, and not one from dad, what can they really pull?
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serene View Post
How would I get in touch with them? I'm new to this site and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to PM them... I would love to read up on these and reach out to them after having a good read of their info.

At the trial do you bring up jurisprudence from canlii? Where do you slip in those references?
I think your statement above is good reason not to represent yourself.

You need to have an inside out understanding of the rules and deadlines.
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:14 PM
Serene Serene is offline
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FB_ I agree in part with you. But again, this won't be a matter of choice soon. We will be forced to as I understand that lawyers don't work for free
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