The facts of your divorce case may be different from other divorce cases. Your divorce case may involve shared children and a home situation that requires you to seek full custody. Your case may involve a family home that you wish to sell, but your spouse does not and instead, wishes to live in it.
The intricacies of a marriage reveal themselves during the divorce process, and your family law attorney needs to be made aware of all of the facts, both good and bad, in order to formulate an effective strategy in family court.
Virtual Town Hall
Cordell & Cordell hosted a Virtual Town Hall on October 14, detailing how case strategies are devised and employed in family court.
The Virtual Town Hall was led by Cordell & Cordell CEO, Managing/Executive Partner Scott Trout and featured a panel of attorneys from across the United States.
Getting ahead of accusations
They highlighted the ways your soon-to-be ex-spouse may attempt to either attack or defend against your side’s strategy in court through a strategy of their own.
“Think about everything negative she has ever said when you guys are fighting and really take that to heart,” Cordell & Cordell New Jersey Senior Litigation Attorney Diana Megalla said. “Tell me what those points are. Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t let me find out in court.”
Clear and honest communication with your attorney is a central aspect to a divorce or child custody case. This allows an attorney to come prepared to combat any accusation your soon-to-be ex-spouse may make.
“I want to get ahead of any possible accusations that may be made,” Ms. Megalla said.
“For example, Mom may say ‘He doesn’t feed the kids.’ Nine times out of 10, my clients will have text messages showing ‘Hey, I’ve made this meal for the kids. So-and-so loved the meal.’ If you tell me what the accusation is, we can find ways to get ahead of it before I have to hear it in court.”
Evidence and discovery
Evidence can be key, not only in combatting possible accusations, but also to highlight assets or patterns in character. Discovery plans should reflect the individual facts of the case, allowing you to find evidence in support of points of contention.
“It’s important to talk to your attorney regarding what the issues are and coming up with a strategy that is custom for your case specifically,” Cordell & Cordell Texas Lead Litigator Coleen Kinsler said.
Depending on the issues associated with the discovery, it can lead to attorneys taking more time to complete the discovery, creating additional legal fees.
“It can be expensive,” Mr. Trout said. “That’s why it is important to have a conversation, talking about what’s appropriate for your case. Obviously, the more issues there are, especially contentious ones, there is more need for discovery.”
Having honest discussions and gathering the necessary evidence through discover allows you and your attorney to head to family court prepared and ready for issues that may come up. This is especially important when child custody and your place in your child’s life is at stake.
Information about your children
Having up-to-date information regarding the ins and outs of your children’s lives is critical to showing a judge that you are an involved parent. Sharing that information with your attorney beforehand and allowing them to illustrate your involvement in their lives establishes your presence in the eyes of a judge.
“Gathering documentation and information about the lives of your children is incredibly helpful to a custody case,” Cordell & Cordell Arizona Litigation Attorney Jessica America said. “Where have your children been living for the past five years? Who has been living with them? Can you provide medical records? Have you been going to doctor’s visits with them? Can you prove it?
“The more documents and evidence you can produce, the more you will save time and money, so your attorney doesn’t have to search for it.”
Gathering these documents is a task that you do not have to wait for a directive to do. If you have not found a family law attorney yet, but know that you would like a divorce, you have the ability to do that preparation beforehand and help your case before it starts.
“It’s never too early to start,” Cordell & Cordell Florida Litigation Alison Morriss said. “Realistically, we’re starting with that initial filing. We’re starting with that initial consultation, even before the divorce is filed, so get started with your attorney and get started right away.
Dan Pearce is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell Planning Partners. He has written countless pieces on MensDivorce.com, detailing the plight of men and fathers going through the divorce experience, as well as the issues seniors and their families experience throughout the estate planning journey on ElderCareLaw.com. Mr. Pearce has managed websites and helped create content, such as the Men’s Divorce Newsletter and the YouTube series, “Men’s Divorce Countdown.” He also has been a contributor on both the Men’s Divorce Podcast and ElderTalk with TuckerAllen.
Mr. Pearce assisted in fostering a Cordell Planning Partners practice area specific for Veterans, as they deal with the intricacies of their benefits while planning for the future. He also helped create the Cordell Planning Partners Resource Guide and the Cordell Planning Partners Guide to Alternative Residence Options, specific for seniors with questions regarding their needs and living arrangements.