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Family Matters: Choosing to Represent Yourself in Court

Indiana courts and court clerks handle more than 1.5 million cases per year, ranging from capital murder cases and multi-million dollar corporate lawsuits, to divorces, minor traffic infractions and rental disputes. The cost and importance of these cases vary greatly from case to case depending on the circumstances and the people involved. More often than not, people utilize the services of an attorney to help them in these matters. However, the Indiana Supreme Court recognizes the fact that in some instances people involved in litigation choose not to utilize the services of an attorney. This video has been developed to assist those people who choose to represent themselves in court.

To view any other chapter in this series, see below. To aid searching for specific material, time markers (min:sec) indicate when a new chapter in a series begins.

Choosing to represent yourself in court.

General Responsibilities
Your responsibilities as a self-represented litigant.

Resources for self-represented litigants.

The Pleadings
Learn about pleadings, appearances, petitions, appearances, summons, service, filing fees and financial declaration.

  • The Appearance (1:00)
  • The Summons (1:40)
  • Service (2:20)
  • Filing Fees (4:40)
  • Financial Declaration (5:30)

Protective Orders
Learn about protective orders.

After Your Hearing
Learn about your responsibilities following your court hearing.

Request for Hearing
Learn about how to make a request for a court hearing.

Retirement/Pension Funds
Watch a short video and learn about retirement/pension funds in court.

Summary Decrees
Covers waiver of final hearing, settlement agreements & dissolution, & paternity agreements.

  • Settlement Agreements & Dissolution (1:41)
  • Paternity Agreements (3:36)

Your Court Date
Learn how to prepare for your court date, legal advice and learn about being prompt, what to wear, bringing friends and family and appropriate conduct.

  • Legal Advice (1:38)
  • Promptness (3:10)
  • What to wear (4:08)
  • Bringing Friends and Family (5:04)
  • Appropriate Conduct (6:21)

Preparing for Court
Learn about provisional hearings and watch other court proceedings.

  • Observation (1:04)

The Pleadings II
Covers making copies of files and types of additional motions.

  • Motions (0:56)

Children and Divorce
Learn about mediation & counseling, parenting time (visitation) and completing child support forms.

  • Mediation & Counseling (2:37)
  • Parenting Time & Completing Child Support Forms (4:10)