§ What to prepare for in court

I have filed for a court date… months ago, and am still waiting for it, however my ex has kept my kids from seeing or speaking to me in over a year. I am tired of it and fed up. I need to be in their lives, I cannot afford a lawyer, and will represent myself, or use a court appointed att. However i don’t even no where to begin, I want to get

visitation of my kids, I live in mass. The ex refuses to even speak with me, so we cannot come to a aggrement on our own. Im so scared they will deny me visitation, or something. I did have a domestic violence charge aginist my ex, which was dropped, ( she was high and tried taking my kids in her car, So i grabbed her so she couldn’t, and she called the cops with a bruise on her arm.) It was to protect my children not to hurt her, if that makes any difference. As far as towards my kids, I have never ever hurt them, in fact their mother hates me because they speak so highly of me and always want to see me. Do i have have any reason to be concerned that representing myself could result in my visitation not being granted.

If I were you I would take the time to go to the courthouse and ask the clerk if your case is on file. Maybe it didn’t get served correctly or something.

I have been in court too many times, and there are always folks representing themselves. Your case is simple, mom is denying you visitation time. Do you already have any court orders regarding custody and visitation? If so, what are they?

When was the domestic violence charge? Did that come up in a custody court setting? Is it in any custody orders?

You say you live in Mass. Where do the kids live? Did you move away?

It helps a lot to lay out the general history to get good answers.

The only advice I have is when you do represent yourself
1. Keep the focus of your statements about your relationship with the kids and what you think is in the kids’ best interests.
2. If/when the judge or your ex brings up the battery charge, or whatever, just stay calm and stick to the facts…such and such happened, it was dropped. BUT, I would add in there that you know it was wrong and you would never do that again
(It was wrong in the eyes of the court as it is always domestic violence to lay your hands on someone when its not welcomed, that your kids were present for this does not look good either). So mop up big time.