Fighting a family law case is never an easy experience. It’s crucial to allow yourself enough time to prepare and make the proper mental adjustments. Going to court over your family or property is a tough proposition, but there are resources to help you make the situation easier. Check out these four suggestions to help you navigate a family law case.
1. Look For A Skilled Attorney
Chances are if you need a family lawyer, you’re going to be working with them closely. It’s important to look for a highly skilled lawyer to give yourself the best chance at winning your case. Your lawyer should specialize in family law; it shouldn’t be something they do on the side. When you meet with a lawyer, also clarify if they’ll work with you personally or if someone else from their firm will handle your case.
One of the best skills to look out for in a lawyer is their communication skills. A family lawyer needs to be able to explain complex legal rules and how they apply to your situation. If you feel intimidated or confused when speaking with your lawyer, they’re not a good fit for you. In addition to being skilled at law, your lawyer needs to be able to communicate with you and on your behalf in court.
2. Take The Time To Get Informed
The more information you have, the easier it’s going to find an amicable solution to the situation. Before mediation, conferences or trials, make sure you sit down with your family lawyer and discuss how the laws apply to your situation. Every family law case has its own nuances which make consulting a lawyer for a professional opinion important.
Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to retain your family lawyer for the entire time the case is going on. Your lawyer can act as an excellent resource to help you prepare and give you crucial information. The amount of time you need lawyer around depends on the severity and complexity of your situation.
3. Keep In Mind That Final Decisions Are Up To You
Anytime you need to hire a lawyer; there’s a good chance you’re going through a crisis in your personal life. It’s essential to remember that final decisions are up to you. Don’t let your friends, partner, parents or anyone else make decisions for you. It’s important to use your lawyer to give you insights on strategy, information on the law and recommended actions. However, you still have the final say.
No one can understand your situation as well as you can. You may be put in a situation where you can settle for a lot of money, but you decide against it for the betterment of your family. Don’t let your friends or lawyer push you into making the “right” decision. When navigating a family law case, it’s essential to stay true to your personal values.
4. Practice Proper Court Etiquette
Making a good impression can help show that you’re a responsible adult. Always arrive at least 15 minutes before court is scheduled to start. If your family or friends are coming to support, they also need to be early. Try and avoid first names in the courtroom, address people by Mr., Ms. or their professional designation.
When you speak up during the trial, address your remarks to the judge, not to the other party. Write anything down that you disagree with and wait for the appropriate time to speak. If you’re having trouble hearing someone talk, let the judge know so adjustments can be made.