Should You Represent Yourself in a Child Custody Dispute? 

Representing yourself in a custody dispute can be difficult and scary, but it’s also a great way to save money and take charge of your case. However, it’s important to take into account the specific needs of your situation before deciding whether or not you should represent yourself in court. 

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A good starting point is to consider how you feel about speaking in public and how confident you are about your abilities as a presenter. These are both factors that will affect how well you perform during the trial process and what kind of results you will get from your efforts. 

Are you able to articulate your feelings in an organized and clear manner?

When you’re in front of a judge or opposing party, it is very important that you are able to explain your side of the story. If you are unable to do so, your ability to represent yourself may be limited and the outcome of your case may become less favorable. 

Do you have a plan for how you will address your case?

When representing yourself in a custody hearing, it is important that you have a plan for how you will present your case. This means knowing what documents to gather, organizing them and preparing any witnesses that you may want to bring to court. 

Do you have a thorough understanding of the rules governing child custody proceedings?

The legal system is complex, and it can be a challenge for many people to understand the rules. Fortunately, there are several resources that can help you get an up-to-date overview of how the law is applied in this area of law. 

One resource is the Guide for Representing Yourself in an Iowa Divorce (PDF). This document provides a comprehensive overview of how to navigate a divorce or separation in Iowa with children, including what types of issues you should be aware of and which ones are best left to an attorney. 

Are you willing to spend the time necessary to research the issues?

The more time you invest in researching your case, the more likely it is that you will be able to represent yourself successfully. It can also save you money in the long run, since you won’t need to hire a lawyer for each hearing. 

What should I do if my ex-spouse is not following the agreed upon parenting schedule? 

When it comes to child custody, the judge will look at all aspects of your relationship with your children. The more time you spend in communication with your children, the more likely it is that the judge will view you as a loving and caring parent. 

Do you have a history of drug abuse or violence?

If you have a past of drug abuse or domestic violence, it is important to let the court know. This is so the court can assess any potential impact that your behavior may have on your children. 

Do you have a good working relationship with the other parent?