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Pro se family law trial coming up

by Ashley
(Tampa)

I am Pro Se and my ex has a lawyer (a very good one at that) I have never been to trial before, although we have been in and out of court for years. Since he refuses my time, and court ordered calls, and pretty much disregards the parenting plan altogether to suit himself, I decided not to settle in mediation as I always do. My questions are:

1) What all can I use for evidence? Video? Emails? Texts?

2) How do I submit them? Do I have to file them first with the court, or just have a copy for them?

3) How do I mark each thing? Does each page have to be marked, or can I use them as a bundle? (like I said, its been years. I have THOUSANDS of emails.)

4) When I call my witnesses can I ask them anything, or does it have to stay on them defending me on the accusations my ex made on me?

5) Can I call people to defend my character as a mother? Or does it have to be people that can say what they have seen/ haven't seen me doing as to the accusations made by the ex?

6) My son is 12 years old, and has asked to talk to the judge about where he wants to live. Is this possible? What is the age the judge will consider this?

I am in Tampa, Fl. I have exhausted all my money on this, hence why I no longer have a lawyer. I have 3 kids all together. (only one in this case) I am living back with my parents because I have dug myself so in debt with legal fees over this case. Please any information would be much appreciated!!! Btw I have tried Bay Area Legal as well, since I am living with my parents they say I do not qualify. Even after explaining I am 30 and my parents don't pay for me. So I am really helpless on this matter! Anything will help!

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Pro se trial
by: FALDP Staff

Ashley,

From what you wrote I am guessing that you filed a Motion for Contempt/ Enforcement to enforce the Parenting Plan. My suggestion is to keep the proceedings as simple as you can, since he has an attorney and you don't. Document all the instances where he has refused to abide by the Parenting Plan, keep a diary, transfer any text messages to a doc file or pdf. And as far as your son appearing in court you will need to file a motion for him to be allowed to appear. There is a motion form for that on the Supreme Court's site - www.flcourts.org . We have document preparers throughout the state who may be able to assist you in formatting your documents for trial, and explaining civil procedure. Please call 800-515-0496 or send a message through one of the contact forms on this site.

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