Archive for the ‘Litigation Strategy’ Category

The time to prepare for trial is long before trial

I’m always amazed when the court asks me if I can be ready for a multi-day trial it wishes to set a few weeks hence. The level of preparation necessary to determine that trial is necessary is vastly lower than the level of preparation necessary to actually try the case. It requires months–at least three […]

When to file and when to continue negotiating without filing

I had a recent consult with a woman who was gung ho to file for divorce. In discussing her situation, I could not understand her urgency to file before giving negotiations a chance. Like many spouses who come to my office seeking a divorce, she didn’t realize that she would need to resolve issues of […]

The best time to defeat a relocation case is before it’s filed

In my 20+ years of family law practice, I’ve yet to see a relocation case in which the requested relocation was solely for the child’s benefit and at the inconvenience of the custodial parent. I’m not sure how a family court judge would react to a non-custodial parent who opposed a relocation that was based […]

The danger of rushing into custody agreements with the seriously mentally ill or substance abusing

Folks hire family law attorneys not only expecting to have their domestic disputes resolved, but expecting them to be resolved quickly and inexpensively. The method to accomplish this is to reach agreements. Thus most litigants want their attorneys to be thinking settlement early in the process. For most domestic disputes this is a reasonable expectation. […]

Lessons from my first contested termination of parental rights prosecution trial

Last week I represented a mother and step-father in a contested termination of parental rights(TPR)/step-parent adoption case. I have been a licensed attorney for over twenty-five years–the last twenty of which I have primarily focused on family law. I have successfully defended a couple of TPR cases brought by DSS. I have filed contested TPR […]

You don’t have to pretend to be perfect

A lot of family court litigants harm their cases because they don’t want to admit anything that makes them look bad. Confronted with such behavior they naturally feel shame or guilt. The natural reaction to feelings of shame or guilt is to shy away from it. In the context of being questioned about such behavior, […]

What’s so primo about primacy?

Folks will often contact my office with a desire to file a divorce or custody case immediately, “before the other side does.” Sometimes there is a need for speed: conditions within the marriage have made continued cohabitation unsafe; the other parent is acting dangerously around the child. More often this urgency is nothing more than […]

Changes in the non-custodial parent’s income have a much bigger impact on child support than changes in the custodial parent’s income

Child support can be modified based upon a substantial change of circumstances. Common circumstances that justify a child support modification are when work-related child care expenses drop (typically when the child starts kindergarten or is old enough to no longer need after school care) or when one, but not all, of the children supported by […]

 

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