Representing yourself in family court is challenging. There are many laws and procedures that you need to know. Deadlines for filing documents can be strict. If you file documents late, or not at all, the judicial officer who decides your case may not be able to consider your side of the case. On top of all that, family court cases can be emotional. When you represent yourself, there is no attorney to help you sort out facts from emotions, understand what is happening with the case, and plan a case strategy with you. Although it is almost always better to be represented by an attorney, it is not always possible. This sites provides a few resources to assist you if you decide to represent your self
Unbundled Legal Services
Oftentimes, people believe legal representation is like a light switch: it’s either on or off. That is not always the case. When someone is represented for the whole case, it is called full representation. If you cannot afford full representation, there is a less expensive form of partial representation known as unbundled legal services. This allows you to select from a menu of legal services and customize your representation. For example, by making a written agreement with an attorney who is willing to provide unbundled legal services, you can choose to have an attorney represent you in court, but draft all the papers yourself.
Click Here for a list of attorneys that provide unbundled legal services:
If you do not have an attorney AND qualify for Legal Aid assistance, you can get help filling out Court forms for divorce, custody, or parenting time.
Click here for the Pro-Se Clinic flyer for information on how to sign up:
The Supreme Court of Ohio developed standardized forms for termination of marriage, child support, and custody matters in domestic relations and juvenile courts to assist self-represented litigants access the justice system. Disclaimer: These forms do not include instructions, legal advice regarding your rights and responsibilities, or legal options. To be fully informed and get answers to your questions, you should seek the advice of an attorney
- Divorce Without Children
- Divorce With Children
- Dissolution Without Children
- Dissolution With Children
- Parentage, Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities, and Parenting Time
- Change in Parenting Time
- Change in Allocation of Parental Rights and Responsibilities
- Change in Child Support, Medical Support, Tax Exemption, or Other Child-Related Expenses
- Request the Enforcement of a Court Order and Hold the Other Party in Contempt ofr Violating the Court Order
If you are not able to print these documents, you can come to the Family Court and request a packet.