Representing myself in court


#1

My- ex and I go to court end of March/April ( date not yet set)
He has hired a lawyer _ I can not afford one right now.

When I called his lawyers office to get date ( since it had a 3 week span) he said that I would get a notice but that my -ex has requested he not speak to me on the phone or in writing because it will cost him extra money.

I need to prepare my case and to do so I need several pieces of info from my ex. The lawyer suggested I go directly to my ex but the reason I do not is because my ex has extremely abusive language.

I was thinking of writing my ex and giving him a certain amount of time before contacting is lawyer again. How long should I wait before I ask his lawyer to answer or should I just copy his lawyer so we have the same start date for a response?

One thing I need is to see actual bill for child insurance- and a record of his rental income. If he refuses to give it to me- what do I do? If I have to get it myself I most likely need to hire a lawyer will my ex have to reimburse me since he refused to send?
Thanks


#2

The best way to go about getting the materials you need is to file discovery, in this case a Request for Production of Documents. This is a formal request filed with the court to which your ex and/or his attorney must respond. There is a 30 day period in which he will have time to respond, and if his lawyer asks for an extension (which he likely will) they will have a total of 60 days to respond. Therefore you will need to act quickly.
The discovery will need to include the case caption (party names, state, county, court where the action lies and file number). You will then need to list specifically what documents you are requesting. Include a signed statement attached to the back (entitled Certificate of Service) and indicate the date you mailed the document, your husband’s attorney’s name and address. Then mail the entire document to your husband’s attorney.
If your husband does not respond you may ask the court to compel him to comply and to impose sanctions against him.


#3

Dear Lawyer Clarey-
Thank you for the excellent advise- I will file discover-Ex is filing for modification of child support- when his job was down sized -I had heard he filed a suit against his company for age discrimination- I am not sure but if he was to win a large sum of money ( of course that would take time and most likely be after child support has ended, she is now 16) wouldn’t he owe some of that to my daughter as it would be money to make up for what he wasn’t paid now?
If she is entitled how do I word that in discovery? should I say please provide any/all information on any/all lawsuits between you and your company?
also I know he owns and rents at least 1 income property but he may have others- again do I ask that? do I say-
Please provide any/all rental incomes-and the last 3 months ( Dec. Jan. Feb.) of cancelled checks received from tenants.
Thanks


#4

I would suggest you request documentation for at least the last 12 months for all of his sources of income.
According to the child support guidelines you may be entitled to a % of any award he wins on his discrimination claim.


#5

Dear Erin Clarey

I went to the court house today to get the paper work to file a request for production of Doc as you suggested ( Discovery). I was told they do not have any such paper work here in Mecklenburg county and that I should just write a letter to my -ex, send it to him certified mail and then send a copy of the letter to his lawyer as well ( not sure f I needed to certify that as well or send the lawyer a copied of the signed certify letter showing my ex received it)

Is this correct or did I just happen upon a person who did not know what they were talking about at the court house?


#6

I am not sure what forms the self serve clinic provides however You can draft the request in a letter form, just be sure to include the case information on the top. Ie, the case caption (party names, state, county, court where the action lies and file number). You will then need to list specifically what documents you are requesting. Include a signed statement attached to the back (entitled Certificate of Service) and indicate the date you mailed the document, your husband’s attorney’s name and address. Then mail the entire document to your husband’s attorney. You may also send a copy to your husband.