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Grateful I represented myself

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LITTLE RAY OF HOPE

I Realise this is a public forum and don't want to say too much specifically. I'm excited. Excited and fearful all at the same time. Bottom line is my child was denied contact with me for a certain period of time again, yet had a parenting plan in place and I complied to all aspects of this plan. I obtained a certificate from a Family Dispute Resolution Centre, I filed an application (including both interim and final orders) plus and affidavit with the court and had them served on the respondent. I turned up at the mention and lo and behold, found out that the respondent's lawyer was one I had gone and got a price estimate from as to how much to go to final hearing - $10, 000 to $12, 000 I was told. (moderator note - this would  not include barrister fees).

This encouraged me to become a self represented litigant, anyway I shook his hand and said "Hi I'm _____  and I'm self represented, now let's negotiate!! Firstly, does the respondent agree to any of my interim orders?" I successfully negotiated quite a large amount of time for the child to spend with me and other important issues I raised. I gave this to the Judge and typed copies and returned to court next day (in the approved format).

These are interim consent orders. Time spent with me was almost immediately commenced without fail. I was shocked when the respondent's $10, 000 or $12, 000 lawyer said to me in the gallery outside court "I've really got to make this as simple and quick as possible". My response was, "Well, I'm here for my child's best interests so if you want a quick day, best your client start agreeing to some of the interim orders which are only codifying what has been established proactice for the last X years." The lawyer gave me a look as if I had just stolen his dog!!

Thank my lucky stars I never paid the $10 - $12, 000 to him. Laughing my butt off at having spent $145 for applicaiton and $75 to have papers served and $400 on a new suit. Just offering this as a bit of hope to anyone new that it can be done.

Mind you, I spent probably 100 hours researching and writing the application and affidavit. It was far from professional standard I'm sure, but it was my utmost best given the timeframe and suport I had with it at the time. I had someone from this site call me back and give a lot of sound advice for which I am extremely grateful. I only found this site shortly before I had to file.

I have a long way to go, but I socre the first round 10-8 in favour of the child's best interests. Awaiting membership to SRL.

Thanks again. Looks like I will be spending more countless hours in the next few months as I have a referral to the family court and a family report will be getting done and an independent children's lawyer hopefully appointed.

(Moderator - edited for clarity and to convert from all CAPS)

Last edit: by Artemis

A strategy worthy of a father with the "bestinterests" of the child in mind.
By framing all issues as  you have in the child's best interests the judge/magistrate will see you on their side in resolving any issues. Focus then goes onto the other side and they are then carrying to an extent the burdens of proof.
Perhaps you now have a focus on what issues are agreed and which are to be resolved.
As your post suggests there is good value in negotiating outcomes. You retain more control than when the judgement is in the hands of the court.
Codifying existing practices suggests that there is a communication between the parties which indicated that shared responsibility ought not be unwarranted. It is now a challenge for the other side to vary the orders you have.
Your words suggest an awareness of getting your affidavit in order. It is an imperative to address the relevent sections of the Act where possible, those arguments need to be substantiated with facts in your affidavit.
Courts love precedents, so if you are seeking those alone the reasons for conflict are questionable.
There are many twists in the Family Court, heading to the best interests of the child though appears to be the best track. A solicitor who talks of time constraints may not have the best interests of any other of himself in mind.
Enjoy the moment, take dog biscuits/snacks for the solicitor if it might help in the future.

What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha
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