Q: How do I file a contempt claim against my ex husband who hasn't followed thru with his part of our divorce settlement?
I don't have the $ to pay my lawyer to move forward with enforcing the decree settlement how do i do that by myself with out representation?
I have outlined below a few basic things to get you pointed in the right direction.
1. A good place to start would be to go to your local law library. Study the statutes related to the issues in your case.
2. Make sure you understand the rules of evidence. This will govern what can be used as evidence and how and when presented. This includes things such as exhibits and witnesses.
3. Study the rules of civil procedure. This will explain what to file, when to file, where to file, how presented, time limitations, how to calculate time and dealines, etc. The court will hold you to the same standards as a licensed attorney, so make sure you fully understand procedure. Proper procedure is absolutely critical to any case.
4. Make sure you know and understand the local court rules that apply in the jurisdiction you will file your case. Local rules can vary between judicial districts. This trips up even the most experienced attorneys handling cases in counties where they don't often visit. So, pay particular attention to this one. Judges are often unforgiving when it comes to the local rules so this is another way to lose a case before you even set foot in the courthouse. Know the local court rules.
5. You will want to study all case law related to the specific issues in your case. This is important because it will help you understand how the courts have interpreted and applied the statutes. Additionally, the case law, along with the statutes, will be what you cite as the legal authority when you draft your pleadings.
6. All of the above will help you draft your pleadings. NEVER trust forms you find on the internet. With this said, I think that the paper in the file is about 10% of presenting a case. The other 90% is taking the paper and turning it into the result you are seeking.
I wish you the best of luck with this matter.
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