Understanding Procedural Rules As A Pro-Se Litigant


I am representing myself in my divorce pro se and I feel as though the courts are treating me differently because I’m not an attorney.

For example, the court recently granted my wife’s attorney a three-day extra continuance regarding evidence and I was never notified by either the court or the other attorney. It doesn’t seem fair that they have extra days with my evidence to prepare responses.

What can I do to better familiarize myself with procedures like this?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and am unable to give you legal advice, I can give you some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Virginia, there are very many procedural rules that are available for both attorneys and pro-se litigants to use. The issue is knowing what to file in order to invoke the procedural rules.

In Virginia, clerks, and other court staff, are not allowed to give out legal or procedural advice to anyone. So, the court will never help you with the procedural aspects of your case. As for what you can do, most courthouses have law libraries where you can research the relevant rules for your type of case.

Procedural rules are very jurisdiction-specific and require a specialized knowledge of local law. For these reasons I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in family law matters in your jurisdiction.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on these matters, so please contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws of New Jersey and how they impact your case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk, and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

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