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Important Considerations for Family Court

Posted on April 6, 2021

Important Considerations Before Representing Yourself in Family Court

When you need to make a legal change to your family situation, you may need to appear in family court.

People appear in family court for divorce, annulment, paternity, child support, custody, adoption, name changes, and termination of parental rights, just to name a few[1].

Some people prefer to represent themselves in court (called Pro Se representation) instead of hiring an attorney, often to avoid paying attorney fees. However, in the long run, this may not be the best alternative. Following are key considerations if you are thinking about representing yourself in family court:

Familiarity with Florida Laws

Laws are complex and full of legal jargon. Licensed attorneys must attend law school for three years, and then pass a two-day exam that tests their knowledge on intricate details about many facets of the law. As a lay person, it may be very difficult to gain enough familiarity with the law to effectively represent yourself in court. In addition, it can be hard for a lay person to know which details about their case are relevant and which are not. An attorney can provide guidance on which specific details of your case to highlight and which are not relevant from a legal perspective.

Familiarity with Legal Procedures

Procedural law is “a body of law that sets forth the methods, rules, and procedures for court cases[2].” In fact, the Florida Family Court has published a 174-page document detailing the procedures that need to be followed in the different types of family court cases[3]. When you represent yourself in court, you are taking on the responsibility of complying with all relevant legal procedures. This can include[4]:

  • Filing mandatory documents
  • Showing proof of all requirements
  • Requesting a trial date

The Florida Family Courts do offer self-help information packets with instructions for Pro Se individuals[5]. However, they cannot give advice on the specifics of your case.

Failure to properly follow legal procedures can negatively impact the outcome of your case. In contrast, an attorney is well-versed in adhering to legal procedures and will take care of this for you.

Emotional Involvement

It is often difficult to objectively evaluate a situation when we are emotionally involved. Having an attorney allows a third-party to objectively evaluate your case and provide educated, unbiased legal advice.

Opposing Side’s Representation

If the other side in your court case has an attorney, it will be very hard for you to win Pro Se against them.

The matters decided in Family Court can have a significant and immediate impact on your life. If you or a family member were seriously ill, you would hire a doctor instead of trying to treat them yourself.  Similarly, if you are facing an important family law matter, hire an experienced, licensed attorney who specializes in family law, like Troy Legal.

Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., specializes in Marital and Family Law, providing reputable legal services for prenuptial and co-habitation agreements, paternity cases, adoption matters, alimony and child support, time sharing and parenting plans, drafting of qualified domestic relations orders (qdros), mediation services, equitable distributions, collaborative law, post-judgement modification and enforcement, domestic violence cases, and dissolution of marriage or divorce.  Troy Legal, P.is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.


[1] Florida Courts. Family Courts – Florida Courts (flcourts.org)

[2] LegalDictionary.net. Procedural Law – Definition, Examples, Cases, Processes (legaldictionary.net)

[3]Florida Family Court.  Family Rules of Procedure (flcourts.org)

[4] First Judicial Circuit. Family Law Pro Se (Self-Help) | First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida

[5] First Judicial Circuit. Family Law Pro Se (Self-Help) | First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida

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Troy Legal, P.A. was founded in 2009 and serves clients throughout South Florida. Troy Legal, P.A., is dedicated to serving clients through compassionate and aggressive representation, while upholding the highest degree of ethical standards.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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