You live in Florida and your child lives in Florida. You are in the process of getting a divorce or you are considering a divorce. You and your spouse cannot agree and the case must by resolved by a trial. Here are 7 things you must do to maximize a favorable outcome to your divorce trial:
1. Document Timesharing. Maintain a daily journal or calendar that documents timesharing with the children. Be specific. That is, document times (for example dad has the child between 4:00 p.m. until drop off at school the next day), exact dates, and places (for example mom takes the child to go skydiving).
2. Document Contacts With Other Parent. Maintain a daily journal or calendar that documents all contact, including the nature of the contact, with the other parent (for example, on January 5, 2011, mom called me on the phone and told me that I was a scab on the knees of humanity). Emails are a great way to document contacts between parents. Don’t write anything in an email that you don’t want a judge to see.
3. Consider Trial Witnesses. Trial time is valuable and expensive. Any witness you call takes away from the most important witnesses in all divorces, the Husband and the Wife. If your witness is your relative or close friend and not a neutral party, then remember that your witness’ testimony may not be given much weight by the trial judge. Prepare a summary of what your witness has to say that is favorable to your case. If the witness may say something bad about you…….then don’t use that witness if you can avoid it. Your children will seldom be witnesses at your divorce trial, especially if your children are minors.
4. Consider Trial Exhibits. What documentary exhibits will help you prove your case? School or medical records of the child, medical records of the parents, court records, and financial records, are some examples of documentary evidence. You may need to take steps to ensure the documents you believe will be helpful to your case are admissible evidence at trial.
5. Consider Settlement vs. Trial. Divorce trials are financially expensive and emotionally expensive. Settlement is always encouraged when that is possible. Let’s say your spouse has always been manipulative, unreasonable, and even unfit. Everyone wants to get the divorce over with, but settling with an unfit parent could lead you to trouble down the road. Modification of your parenting plan or timesharing schedule requires a substantial change in circumstances that require the judge to modify the prior order in the best interests of the child, but not just any change, the change must have occurred after the entry of the final judgment, so you can’t point out bad behavior that occurred prior to final judgment as a basis for modification of a parenting plan or timesharing schedule.
6.Call the police only if there is a true emergency.
7. Don’t discuss your divorce litigation with your children.
This article is for general information only. This article is not intended as legal advice and does not substitute for advice from an experienced Family Lawyer. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based on advertising alone. Contact me to obtain written information about my qualifications. Visit my website at DoreenVarela.com for more information about me and about my qualifications. Call me at 561-820-0811 to discuss your particular circumtances in confidence.