Hey, this is Danielle Davis. I’m a Partner here at Burnham Law, and I’m going to be talking to you today about how parents can best prepare for their family law hearings.
The first thing I want to say is that you should express your goals early and often. Your goals need to be supported by the law, and they need to focus on the best interests of your children.
We frequently have people come into our offices that want things that just aren’t realistic, and we have to express to them that the law is just not going to let that happen. If you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be pretty disappointed with the outcome of your case, so it’s important to know what you’re entitled to, what you’re not entitled to, and the same for your children and your child. What is in their best interest?
The next is to provide any documents or evidence to your lawyer and be responsive to requests for documents that you might receive. People come in and they want us to make arguments on their behalf, and we would love to make those arguments for them, but we can’t do that unless we have the evidence that we need to present to a judge and enter into evidence with the court.
The other is to communicate often. We don’t know what’s going on on the ground unless you call us and tell us. You need to call and let us know what’s going on, what are the new developments in your case, what’s a new incident that your child has reported. If we know along the way what is happening on the ground, we can develop our strategy and evolve our strategy to match what you need and what’s happening in your case specifically.
The other thing is that that is more efficient for you in the long run, both for us and for you. If we get the information along the way, we learn your case from the ground up in a natural way that progresses with the case as it goes. If you wait until the end of the case to tell us everything that happened over several months preceding that phone call, it’s going to be more expensive for you, and it’s going to be a lot more time and work on our side to be as prepared as we would like to be.
The next and last one is to roleplay your testimony with your attorney. This is important because everyone has a different communication style, and everyone responds to questions differently. If you roleplay the questions with your attorney, you’re going to know what they’re asking you and how they’re going to ask it, and your attorney is going to know how you naturally respond and help you work on developing better strategies to effectively communicate to the court.
So, today, what I was talking about is how to best prepare for a hearing, and if you have any additional questions or concerns, please go ahead and contact us. You can reach us at our website, BurnhamLaw.com.