Can I Represent Myself In a Child Custody or Child Support Enforcement Case?
Before we discuss if NC parents Can Represent Themselves In a NC Child Custody or Child Support Enforcement Case, it is important to note that this organization is not a law firm, nor is this writer a lawyer. To get legal advice, contact a lawyer in your county. Whether it is via our comment system here on the website, direct contact on Facebook, or within our posts on our FACEBOOK PAGE, we consistently get questions from NC non-custodial parents and those facing the family courts asking if it is possible for a parent to represent themselves in a child custody or child support enforcement case in NC. The short answer is yes one can, but it is highly not advised. But as pointed out in THIS ARTICLE, many parents have no choice in representing themselves “pro se” in these cases because of low income or being indigent. Unfortunately, the NC Legislature in tandem with the NC Bar Association, the family courts are designed such that one parent wins, while the other parent loses, and many times the losing parent loses big. Our thoughts are that lawyers realize this and charge upwards of $20,000 for a child custody battle and to sort out child support. Furthermore, we estimate that there are tens of thousands of parents who lose contact with a child because they cannot afford to hire a competent family law attorney, or navigate the complex paperwork necessary to file just to get before a Judge. This reality is about as disgusting as anything we can imagine and we hope that the millions of non0-custiodial families in NC will join our MAILING LIST and review our GOALS so that we can build a massive organization of voters that force changes in laws as it pertains to representation in the NC Family Courts. NC Fathers strongly believes that NO pay wall should ever separate children from EITHER parent.
Before attempting to represent yourself in a child custody or child support enforcement case in the NC Family Courts, we ask that you click on the RED and BLUE graphic below to get an idea what many of our readers will face as a non-custodial family.
Here is the problem facing those that attempt to represent themselves in custody or child support cases even if you were to find all the paperwork either online or at your local district court to file and have your case heard. In the NC Family Courts, there are strict procedures that must be adhered to in order for the case to be heard. If you don’t know these procedures, either the Judge will refuse to hear the case, or advice you that you cannot proceed until you follow the rules of the court. Additionally, the opposing lawyer will likely “object” to everything you say on grounds of procedure, at which point you will become frustrated and lose. At this point, the only option is to watch your children leave your life and possibly be moved hundreds of miles away as the custodial parent seeks a new life and there is nobody in the court room who will care.
However, there are NC parents who have been forced to go this route and have won, but I surmise that these parents were sent home many times before they met the minimum guidelines of court procedure.
Here is another problem facing parents who decide to represent themselves in child custody and child support enforcement cases. Many Judges will force you to pay for the other party’s attorney on the grounds that your repeated attempts to “get it right” is causing the other party to spend money with an attorney. Obviously, this effectively ends your battle to secure the most basic rights to your child(ren).
As the graphic below shows, yes you can represent yourself in a child custody or support action, but you will likely lose. The Judge wants you to hire a lawyer to feed the industry before you lose.
There is however one other option that we can not either confirm or deny as being an appropriate way to handle your child custody or child support case in the courts. Several law firms in NC offer a “Do it Yourself” program where you pay $200 dollars a month and have access to a family law attorney via email who can provide you all the forms you need to proceed and give you advice, but they will not be in the court room with you when things get tough.
NC Fathers believes that the NC Family Courts should be a place that rewards two parents for being able to put their differences aside and work together to equally share parentage and access to children. But unfortunately, this is not how Lawyers and Judges see it. No parent in NC should be put into the position of not having money to secure access to his/her children, and by creating a system where parents are forced to represent themselves in child custody and child support enforcement cases within the NC Family Courts, especially given the historical bias that occurs within the walls of the courts, it is beyond image that honest and good people in the legal system are able to sleep at night knowing that parents are never able to see their kids again till 18 because of poverty.
It is likely that thousands of NC non-custodial families are searching the global Internet for the search term “Can I Represent Myself In a NC Child Custody or Child Support Enforcement Case?” but it is important that parents, step-parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles from non-custodial families share this article on sites like Facebook and Twitter so that we can draw more and more people into our organization that we collectively use to force Judges and Legislators to stop the madness and create a balanced and fair system that is truly in the best interest of NC Children that is about equal parentage and access.
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