Thinking of going down to the courthouse and filing your own petitions for custody and visitation is pretty daunting. Unless you’re a practicing attorney (preferably one with experience handling custody cases in Virginia), it’s scary and confusing. There’s a lot at stake–obviously, because we’re talking about your kids here–and you want, more than anything, to do them justice and not screw up. (Spoiler alert: Read on for more information on October’s Custody Bootcamp for Moms seminar!)
But….how? Without experience in the Virginia courts and knowledge of the law, how do you know that you won’t make a bigger mess of things?
You’d like to hire an attorney, of course, but that may not be a possibility. It’s fairly expensive to work with an attorney, and you’re already not getting the child support you should be receiving. It seems to you like everything extra you have should be going to the kids–not to paying attorney’s fees. Right?
You need help, though. Whether you’re planning on petitioning for an initial determination of custody, visitation, or child support, whether you’d like a modification of the existing custody, visitation, and support orders, or whether you’ve got some other issue–grandparent’s rights or relocation, for example, you’ll need to know more about the Virginia courts and how they operate to be sure that you’re not preparing to do more harm than good.
Consulting with an attorney, whether or not you plan on hiring them, is often a great first step. They can give you some insight into your case, how the court normally handles them, and what petitions you should be looking to file. You can talk about the law and how it might apply in your case. You can get some really valuable feedback, which can help you decide whether you’re right to pursue what you’re planning to pursue, or whether you’re in for any surprises in the courtroom.
It’s a good first step, but is it enough?
If you’re planning on representing yourself in your upcoming custody case, you’ll want more help than an attorney (even the best attorney in the world) can give you in a one hour consultation. You’ll want to learn about what you need to know to represent yourself in the juvenile and domestic relations courts in Virginia. There are LOTS of things you need to know, especially if you (like most people) have never represented yourself in court before. It’s tricky! And, beyond that, there are a lot of rules involved.
That’s why we created Custody Bootcamp for Moms, a comprehensive, women only seminar designed by Kristen Hofheimer from Hofheimer Family Law Firm. It’s intense, and lasts all day–at least, until the last mom’s last question is answered, and covers pretty much everything that you’ll need to know to represent yourself in your custody, visitation, and support case. At Custody Bootcamp for Moms, you’ll learn:
when to sit and stand, and how to address the judge;
the 10 critical custody factors in Virginia that you must address (and the judge must listen to);
how to structure your opening and closing arguments;
how to question and cross examine witnesses;
how to survive cross examination yourself;
how to get your good evidence in and keep his bad evidence out; and
how to work with custody evaluators and guardian ad litems (if one has been appointed in your case).
Sound like exactly what you need? It’s a lot of information, and there’s no other similar program for dads looking for help preparing their own custody cases. It’s taught by licensed and experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys Kristen Hofheimer and Caitlin Walters, too, so you can be sure that you’re learning from some of Virginia’s best. October 22nd is the next date for our Custody Bootcamp for Moms seminar, so if you’ve got an upcoming court date, you’ll want to get registered straightaway!
Register for October Custody Bootcamp for Moms Seminar!
Whether you’re planning on representing yourself, or even if you’re just wanting to check up on your current attorney, Custody Bootcamp for Moms is the best way to make sure that you’re getting the information you need to put on a solid custody case.
Custody Bootcamp for Moms is offered quarterly, in January, April, July, and October, and costs less than an hour with a moderately priced local attorney. The cost to attend is just $197, and you can register by clicking here. Can’t afford to attend? We offer one scholarship per seminar; contact us for information on applying. The October Custody Bootcamp for Moms seminar will be held on Saturday, October 22. Space is still available.
For more information about Custody Bootcamp for Moms, give us a call at (757) 425-5200. Our next seminar is coming up, so now is definitely the time to act! Our next seminar won’t be until January!