Four Family Law Mistakes You Can Avoid
Family law mistakes can cost you money, time, and emotional stability, but you can avoid them with the right legal representation. Here are the Top Four Family Law Mistakes that we can help you avoid:
4. Underestimating legal procedure
It seems simple enough – a person who wants a divorce just has to file a few documents with their local court and a few months later can move on with their life. And occasionally that does happen in family law cases.
More often than not though, the in pro per person (someone who represents themselves) is confronted with an array of court rules and procedures that can bog them down; from what documents have to be filed, to how the other side is given papers, to the timing of when certain tasks need to be done. If documents are not filled out properly and deadlines adhered to, their case can be dismissed or their rights compromised.
3. Expecting to get a case resolved as fast as chicken nuggets at a drive-through
Due to the procedural rules and laws that govern how cases are processed, not to mention inadequate funding, cases are typically not resolved as fast as the in pro per person expects. For example, the fastest a divorce without children case can possibly take is two months. For a divorce with children, it is six months – and that is assuming that everyone is agreeable on all issues. Some counties, such as Kent, do an exemplary job in hearing motions every other week, but even then a typical case can last frustratingly longer than the in pro per person expects.
2. Not considering mediation
Many courts today encourage and even order parties to go through mediation. They do this in spite of the extra time it sometimes causes a case to come to a conclusion for the simple reason that mediation works. People who come to an agreement themselves are more likely to abide by that agreement. If a judge decides a case there is usually a winner and a loser. The loser is obviously not happy and tends to obstruct the judgment as much as they can. This leads to frustration and return trips to court. Experienced and ethical attorneys also highly recommend mediation, especially in divorce and custody cases, because it can save their clients quite a bit of money. A good mediation means there is no need for the client to go through an expensive and emotionally draining trial.
1. Placing too much energy into the emotions of a case
During the recent referendum on whether Scotland would become independent or stay in the United Kingdom, the issue was referred to as the “hearts vs the heads”, or the emotional pull of an independent Scotland vs the intellectual concerns about financial and economic security if Scotland were to break away. The non-emotional side won.
Emotions usually run high in a Family Law case, and the in pro per person, who is living the case, will want to make sure the judge knows every last detail, from how much of a jerk he was to how many parties she has; from how many social media friends have ‘liked’ her version of events to how many of his followers have ‘tweeted’ their support for him. What the in pro per person doesn’t realize is that the judge has seen hundreds of cases and is not looking for emotion, but facts. An experienced attorney, who has worked on hundreds of cases as well, knows how to sift the facts from the emotion. He knows what the judge will be looking for and what procedures and rules have to be followed to bring the case to a successful conclusion.