Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

The Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project (BWLAP) in Minnesota’s Court Tips for Representing Yourself in Family Court

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This packet is from the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project (BWLAP) in Minnesota, the forms may be specific for that state but the tips may be useful for any self-represented party.



“Many battered women look to the courts to resolve issues of child custody, child support,
maintenance, and property division. To obtain that help, a battered woman must formally
ask a judge to make an order. However, judges will only make an order when the request
complies with certain rules. Unfortunately, these rules can be confusing, preventing those
without professional legal help from getting their request heard.

This technical assistance packet describes how to file a written motion. It also provides
tips to prepare for the hearing. Attached is a blank copy of a Notice, Motion, Supporting
Affidavit, and Affidavit of Service that can be filled out and filed with the court. The text
of Rule 7.02, Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as some of the most commonly
referenced Minnesota Rules of Evidence, are provided in text boxes within the packet….”


–What is a motion?

–What will happen at a hearing?

–Preparing for the hearing

— . Learn the difference between evidence and argument.
There are strict rules about when a person can present evidence and when a person can
present argument. If you try to present evidence or argument at the wrong time, the
judge will probably stop you before you have finished presenting your case. It is not
always easy to tell the difference between a fact, evidence, and argument. A simple rule,
however, is:
o A fact is an event that has happened or is happening.
o Evidence is something that shows that the event happened.
o Argument is a statement to a judge to convince the judge that your
evidence proves your facts

–Make a list of all the arguments you want to make.
After you become familiar the law, you will be better prepared to make your arguments.
For example, if you are asking the judge to change the child support order, know what
standards the judge will use and organize your arguments within those standards. If you
are asking the judge to change the custody order, and the law provides that the judge is to
consider certain factors in determining the best interests of the child, then make
arguments based on those standards.
A common way of organizing arguments is:
1) State your request
2) State the law that pertains to your request
3) Summarize your evidence (your testimony, your witnesses’ testimony, and
your exhibits)
4) Show step by step how the law applied to your evidence means that your
request should be granted

Another other tips..
For more information please visit the BWLAP website ( link below )

Click to access stream

DISCLAIMER: This is advice from BWLAP in Minnesota. This is not advice from PMA International. This is for informational purposes only and should not replace the advice of a qualified legal professional.

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