Mediation and Court

Well I’m preparing for my own trials and I’ve been learning all kinds of things about the law. I’m not a lawyer, I just feel that with the help I’ve received on here that I should reciprocate. I don’t know anything about your case, but I would be inclined to think that if you have the custody agreement and it has been admitted into court or it was notarized, it shouldn’t be too tough of a case for you… again though I’m not a lawyer. I would try to keep the kids out of it as much as possible, maybe voice to the judge that it is an option that you would like to avoid to keep the kids out of it. I have seen quite a few custody hearings with various judges as of late and I can tell you more about that if you like and what I have seen. Any evidence you have, hard evidence, not so much he said she said stuff, I would have that as well. Do you have an attorney?
Denny Crane

No I do not have an attorney. I was trying to not go that route since I spent so much money the first time around and also my kids are teenagers and will be 18 in 2 years.

Any suggestions you can give on how to prepare going to court on my own would be appreciated.

Well, my best suggestion is to go to court and observe trials. I could go over a million things I have learned about the legal system and little laws and big laws and how to handle yourself in court when representing yourself and very importantly… objecions. It’s amazing. That would be my first suggestion. I try to get there twice a week. Affidavits are great to have as well. I have heard that they aren’t admisable but I have also known people who have been able to admit them.
If you are able to have witnesses there, it may not be needed to call them but if you are going to speak on their behalf, you are able to mention things that normally would be considered heresay but if the person is there, the judge may allow it or ask to hear from that person. It comes down to how much time you asked for too. Try to be as prepared as you can with your line of questioning for him or any witnesses. Also have your thoughts gathered on what you need to say in court. The family judges I have seen and I think I have seen them all at this point, are all very concerned for the children and not so much if you admit evidence improperly or anything else. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know. I can maybe shoot you in the right direction or something.
Denny Crane

Going and watching others in court may not be a bad idea, but how do you know when to go and if it is going to be family related?

Unless it’s specified, Family Court is open court. Meaning that anyone can be present even if they have nothing to do with the specific case. This is why I’ve stated before that if you don’t want your dirty laundry aired in public, do as much as possible to negotiate your agreement between you and your spouse.
You could contact the Clerk of Court and find out when you could observe court procedure in Family Court. The office probably has a schedule for Family Court sessions.

There isn’t really a schedule to see. It’s pretty much just luck. The clerks office doesnt keep the schedule of what cases will be heard and when (I’ve asked). The 8th floor is where all the family court trials are, as well as room 9B on the 9th floor. Some judges have their dockets for the week on the walls outside the courtroom but it isnt the set itinerary, just what cases are being heard that week, how long they will be and who is representing whom…as well as case number. Fridays are generally pretty slow. Thursdays are hit or miss depending on what is left on the docket. The rest of the week could be pretty busy or there could be a long recess at lunch. First round usually starts at 9am and the second round starts at 2pm. Who knows, we may cross paths in there. It has been very helpful observing if you are able to though.

No, there is nothing that you need prepare for mediation. If mediation is not successful you will need to call the courthouse and get a court date to set your motion for a hearing.

You should not bring the children to court, even though the motion is about them the court generally does not like to see the children in court for the hearing.

The court hearing will be limited to the issue of whether or not he has violated the court order, you should bring any witnesses who can help you prove that fact.

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I was just curious as to how things were going or if you had made it into court yet to observe. Did you get anything from it?
Denny Crane

Denny, no I have not been able to observe other court cases. We went to mediation for the violation of the court order, but the mediator’s main concentration was on trying to modify the existing child custody agreement. We’ve scheduled another mediation date, and if that does not go well, then we go to court.

I have been given a mediation date and court date for filing a motion that my x will not return my teenage children and violating the custody agreement.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare or anything I need to bring for mediation?

If the motion is not resolved in mediation and we go to court is there anything I need to do to prepare to go to court?
Would children be allowed to attend court since the motion if for violation of the custody agreement?
Do I need to bring witnesses or other material?

I appreciate any help you can give me in preparing for this.