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How to represent yourself in a family court trial?

How to represent yourself in a family court trial?

Guide for Self-Represented Litigants in Family Court Trials. This Guide and Definitions are intended to help you represent yourself in a family law trial at the Ontario Court of Justice. Please be aware that this is basic information. It is not legal advice and it does not cover every situation that may come up in your trial.

How are self represented litigants heard in court?

In essence, you will be heard by the trial judge in only two ways: either as a witness giving evidence from the witness box, or as a self represented party making submissions from the counsel table. You cannot combine the two and must at all times maintain this distinction.

What happens if I do not appear at my family law trial?

If a party does not appear at court or is not prepared at court, the judge may order costs against that party. The amount of costs may range from a small amount of the costs to full recovery of the costs of the court process, including the trial. Before you start a trial, you will have seen a judge a number of times.

Can a parent represent themselves in a court of law?

Although the justice system permits parents to represent themselves, many legal experts advise parents to reconsider self-representation if the other parent will be represented by counsel. Parents represented by counsel could be in a more advantageous position.

Guide for Self-Represented Litigants in Family Court Trials. This Guide and Definitions are intended to help you represent yourself in a family law trial at the Ontario Court of Justice. Please be aware that this is basic information. It is not legal advice and it does not cover every situation that may come up in your trial.

If a party does not appear at court or is not prepared at court, the judge may order costs against that party. The amount of costs may range from a small amount of the costs to full recovery of the costs of the court process, including the trial. Before you start a trial, you will have seen a judge a number of times.

How often does the represented party win in Family Court?

A recent, 4-year, study of Ontario Superior Court family law cases showed that in those cases the represented party won 73% of the time and the self-rep won only 14% of the time. (The other 13% of cases were either no decisions or split decisions.)

Where can I get help representing myself in court?

Many courthouses have free legal advice clinics as well. To see if your court has a Self-Help Center or a free legal advice clinic, go to the Self-Help Center Help Topic. Note that many of the clinics are now being held remotely due to the pandemic. You can also ask a lawyer to help you with certain parts of your case, but still represent yourself.