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Child Custody Representing Yourself

This is Billie Tarascio with Access Legal Modern Law. I am so excited to be here with you today for an upcoming webinar and, beforewe begin, I just wanna tell you a bit about me and what I do and what Modern Law doesand what Access Legal does. I am a family law attorney here in Arizona. I’ve beenpracticing family law for the last 10 years. I absolutely love it and I am the owner ofthe family law firm Modern Law. Within my work that I do at Modern Law it’s becomevery clear that the vast majority of people are representing themselves and there arenot enough resources out there for people who are representing themselves. In fact,it’s between 80 and 90% of you who are representing

yourselves in family court. Access Legal is a company that was createdout of Modern Law to bring law firm resources available to you, the public, who are representingyourself. And one of the things that we are going to do is be offering these webinars.Today’s webinar for instance is on how to represent yourself in family court. And, Iwill warn you, it is an actionpacked hour of a tone of information; it is definitelya highlevel view of everything that you can expect to have happened in your family lawcase. As we move forward in the future we will have other webinars that are more specific,will drill down into the specifics of the

different areas and really answer your questions.Feel free to ask questions as we go and, if you have other webinars that you want to hearor questions that were not answered, feel free to reach out to me, either through ModernLaw or through Access Legal. A little bit about Access Legal is that AccessLegal is a legal doc prep entity. What that means is that it makes law firm resourcesavailable to you, including documents. And the same documents that we use within ModernLaw have been made available to you through a very easy questionandanswer format onthe Access Legal website at a fraction of the cost of working with an attorney. It’sreally an outstanding resource that we are

very excited to offer and if you have morequestions on that, let me know, but feel free to check out that website, the family lawforum, the articles and the webinars. Thank you so much and we will get started. Today we’re going to be mostly focused onthe process, which is long and not really easy. But we’ll also talk about the substantivelaw with regards to custody and divorce, because it does look like that—based on the poll—that’ssomething that affects everyone. Let’s start at the beginning. The beginning is beforeyou file or before you’re served. If you know that you are going to be facing a familylaw issue—because you’re either facing

a divorce or you’ve had a child out of wedlock—beforeyou go to the court house, there’s some things that you should do. We should determinewhat your objectives are; what is most important to you. This means really thinking about whatyour life is going to look like in 3 years. How do you see a custody arrangement workingout? How do you see a parenting plan working for you and your children? And—everyonecan still hear me, right? There are some people who are saying they can’t. Oh yeah, peopleare saying they can. Ok, fabulous! So, we’re going to look at what are the main issues.Do you want to stay in your own house? Do you want to continue being a mostly stayathomeparent? Are you looking for financial security?

What are your most important objectives andyour biggest fears? The next thing that I’m gonna ask you todo—after you really think about what your life looks like here in the next 3 years,2 years, one year—is to gather your resources. The process of going through a family lawcase is long and hard. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. I’m gonna ask you toreally gather your resources—both emotional and financial—so that you can make the bestdeterminations about how to achieve your objectives and set the correct expectation. How do youanticipate the opposing party will respond? Is it possible for the two of you to worktogether to come up with some solutions that

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