Are you readying yourself for family court? Not sure what to expect throughout the entire process? Looking for ways to prepare for family court?
To properly prepare for family court, you need to know what you’re up against. If you go in with a few tips, then you’ll know how to increase the odds of a favorable outcome for yourself.
It’s never easy going through the family court process. It’s not easy to have things held against you when it comes to divorce and child custody.
See below for how to prepare for family court and ensure that you’re ready for the next steps ahead.
- Organization Is Key
While you’re in court, you’re going to need all of the essential evidence to appeal your side of the case. That means showing the proper documents that give momentum to your side.
To have this documentation ready, you must have them neatly organized and accessible at any moment. This is one less thing you’ll have to think about while in the courtroom.
If you’ve arranged all your evidence in a specific binder or folder, then you’ll be ready to grab the right paper within a few seconds.
Remember, you might be nervous during this process, which is completely normal. Having your documentation ready to roll will help you avoid a lengthened search in front of everyone else.
- Research the Process
Some of you reading this have gone through a divorce before. Others of you haven’t. No matter which category you fall into, it’s always advantageous to learn more about the process you’re going through.
For example, if you’ve never gone through mediation before, reading up on what to expect beforehand will give you confidence. You’ll have an idea of what to expect and how to represent your side in the best way possible.
It will also give you an idea of what evidence you might need to bring along the way. If you want to gain full ownership of your car, then a document showing the car in your name will help you during the mediation when they start to split assets.
When it comes to preparing for the family court, it is better to be over-prepared than underprepared. The less you know going in, the more your case is at risk of collapsing. If you want to leverage on your side, you’ll need to work for it.
- Hire an Attorney
Although it might be tempting to save money by learning how to represent yourself in family court, it’s not worth the risk. If your ex-spouse hires an attorney, then you’ll find yourself going up against a trained and experienced lawyer, which won’t end well.
Be sure to reach out to an experienced family lawyer. They can help you build your case, provide you with step by step instructions, and help you understand the process better.
They also have the experience and know-how to compile evidence. If you hire locally, then your attorney probably has a professional relationship with the mediator and other officials that are overseeing your family case.
Make sure that you tell your attorney the truth. No matter what that looks like, your lawyer can’t help you if you aren’t being honest.
Everything you tell your attorney is confidential due to attorney-client privilege. It ensures that all communications between the lawyer and their clients are private.
- Keep Calm and Remain Respectful
Emotions are going to be high during this entire process. Not only will you feel nervous about being in the courtroom, but things your spouse’s side says might also get under your skin.
However, it’s important to keep your eyes on the task at hand. Staying respectful in the courtroom can be the difference between a verdict in your favor and not in your favor.
Every situation is different. If your attorney knows what’s going on for your specific case, they can lobby for a judge that has experience with it.
Even if you know nothing about the legal process, try to put yourself in the judge’s shoes.
If you were them, how would you want to be talked to? What can you do to put the judge on your side?
- Know the Guardian Ad Litem Process
For those of you that are going through a child custody battle, you and your ex might have disagreements about what’s the best fit for your children.
If so, the judge will assign a Guardian Ad Litem to your case. The Guardian Ad Litem will be the one who inspects the specifics of custody problems and writes up a report of their findings for the court to consider.
This could be things like taking tours of both homes, speaking with both parents individually, talking to teachers, consulting with family members, and so on.
When they speak with you, it’s important to note you do not have the protection of attorney-client privilege. Anything you say can be reported by the Guardian Ad Litem.
Consult with your attorney on how they recommend you approach the situation. Be sure to follow their instructions step for step.
How to Prepare for Family Court: Come Equipped
The biggest factor on how to prepare for family court is remembering to equip your case before entering the courtroom.
If you’ve hired an attorney and compiled a significant amount of evidence, then all you have to worry about is staying calm and respectful in court.
Be sure to browse our website for more information on family court, as well as many other topics you’ll find helpful.