representing yourself

Deciding Whether to Represent Yourself in a Texas Child Support Case


The legal decision on child support has great significance to either of the child’s parents. Child support cases are also imbued with emotions. It goes beyond matters regarding access, possession or visitation of the children.

In child support cases, it is possible to represent one’s self instead of hiring someone from the legal profession. However, there are risks in choosing to forego a lawyer’s services. This article will discuss the risks associated with this decision.

Losing the case 

Losing in child support means that the judgment will not be a favorable one to you. Child support cases are based on the surrounding circumstances, facts, and the evidence presented. One must prove his case before a judge to win a family law case.

Regardless of what kind of parent you are, custodial or noncustodial, you must prove the elements of your case and present supporting pieces of evidence for the judge to evaluate.

There are many technical requirements in a case involving family law that can be tricky. Lawyers have extensive knowledge about the law. We are equipped and trained to know the law.

Getting past the technical aspects of the case is one thing, filing the documents is another.

It’s not unlikely that non-lawyers make a mistake in a pleading. This could weaken your arguments. Worse case is that the mistakes could possibly be a ground that the opposing party can use to have the case dismissed. These mistakes are easy to make, especially without the legal knowledge needed.

Paying a lot more

If you lose the child support case, it is common for a judge to award the court costs and attorney’s fees to the winning party. You will end up shouldering both the costs of your own case and that of the opposing party.

Assess the type of person you are

If hiring a lawyer for your child support case is still not an option you want to take despite the obvious advantages of hiring one entails, assess the type of person you are. 

If you are the type of person who does not communicate well with other people, especially in public, then representing yourself might be a bad idea. You will be facing your opponent’s lawyer prior to the trial, so, if you cannot communicate well and negotiate with the opposing counsel competently, then a lot of time and money can possibly be wasted.

Additionally, you always have to be calm and collected; otherwise, it will be used against you. Lawyers are skilled at picking at a person and make them crack. Losing your composure will affect your credibility in the eyes of the judge and will hinder you from presenting the best case.

Hiring a lawyer can be costly, but the benefit you get from hiring one will be tenfold if you win your case. If a certain type of case gives you an option to represent yourself in lieu of a lawyer, always consider the pros and cons of getting a lawyer and representing yourself. It is the best thing you could do.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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