Always Have an Attorney with You in Court
Video Transcribed: “Don’t try this at home.” It’s a common phrase you hear anytime you go watch anything potentially dangerous or violent. It was a pretty common one from MythBusters. My name is Brian L. Jackson, I am a Tulsa fathers rights attorney here at Dads.Law where fathers are not disposable. I want to talk to you a little bit about what that phrase means in the context of your child custody case, don’t try this at home.
Well, there is a reason why lawyers exist in the abstract. There’s a reason why you want a good lawyer when you’re going forward with any kind of family law litigation, and I mention child custody but it doesn’t just … it’s not limited to that.
If you’re in a situation where you’re dealing with a contested hearing in district court, you really want representation. You want representation on your family law case, you want representation on your protective order case. Even if it seems like it’s something simple, even if it’s one of those, “Oh well, we have everything worked out between the two of us,” kind of situations because there are pitfalls you may not be aware of.
First of all, I see a lot of cases where people think they have an agreed order until you get down to certain things, particularly things like custody, how much child support is going to be, and who’s going to pay it. If there is anything valuable that needs to be divided like a marital home, that’s typically where the agreement can break down.
Or where you can get into a situation where even if you guys are mostly agreed, there may be still some potential details that you want to make sure are addressed. If you have substantial assets, you want a lawyer. Especially if you’re not even sure what they’re worth.
Because she may say, “Well you take this and this, and I’ll take that,” and that might sound fair in the abstract but then if you don’t really know what the assets are worth, then how do you know if it’s an equitable settlement? You don’t.
So the long and short of it is, it’s a cliched statement, but really, guys, don’t try this at home, because you’re not necessarily going to be familiar with the procedural niceties, there may be some things legally that you wouldn’t think are a problem that might be.
You may not know what your assets are worth. You may think you have a deal when you really don’t. It’s always good advice, even in something that seems like it’s simple and straightforward, to have legal counsel if you’re in family court.
And obviously with protective order court. This is another one that people think they can represent themselves in protective order court, and a lot of times they think, “Well if I lose, it’s no big deal. This is low stakes.” It’s really not.
Protective order court in some ways carries consequences more serious than misdemeanor court. Now protective order court can’t take your freedom away in the sense of putting you in jail, which a misdemeanor court could. But a protective order court has the power to take actions that directly affect other liberty interests you have.
The big one is your rights to your kid, and your rights to possess and own a firearm and these are a big deal. If you as a father have a protective order out against you, that is a strike against you, and again, this is why you want a good lawyer. Because if you just walk in there and try and tell your story, you have a really good chance of getting slapped with a protective order.
You might admit to something you think is harmless that the court sees differently, you may not understand or be familiar with the rules of evidence that prevent you from being able to fully tell your story.
It could be something as simple as you come in there dressed inappropriately and the judge may unconsciously draw a conclusion about you based on that. Or what happens if you’re late? There’s no one sitting there, you could default. I mean all of these are things to be concerned about.
Also, what about if she’s accused you of something that is also a crime? A lot of the grounds for protective order are also very similar to the elements of several different crimes under Title 21 of the Oklahoma statutes. You don’t want to get on that stand and admit something on the record that could land you in criminal court as well. So in all seriousness guys, don’t try this at home.
This is your life and your future that are at stake in these proceedings. Just because it’s not criminal court doesn’t mean that you can’t lose something important to you. So take it seriously, don’t try this at home, get a good lawyer, and one place you can find a Men’s Child Custody Lawyer in Tulsa, Ok at Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable.