Piling on

Posted Saturday, November 19th, 2011 by Gregory Forman
Filed under Divorce and Marriage, Litigation Strategy, Of Interest to Family Law Attorneys, South Carolina Specific

Did an uncontested fault divorce yesterday in which the pro se defendant failed to appear.  To prove the defendant’s habitual intoxication required testimony and evidence of his extremely heavy drinking.  The result was a brief, incomplete, biography of a life devolved into a tragic waste.  Not quite as depressing to hear as to live through, but still….

Any time one is trying to prove “fault” in an uncontested divorce, there’s a tension between providing enough evidence to justify the fault divorce and inundating the judge with the other party’s misdeeds as a form of “piling on.”  There’s something profoundly, almost existentially, depressing about these types of hearings.  I wish the judges would simply interrupt me with a “that’s enough” but they don’t.   If other attorneys have suggestions on how to prove fault without appearing to revel in tragedy, I’m open to suggestion.

2 thoughts on Piling on

  1. joe mendelsohn says:

    Greg, how about simply asking the Judge to tell you when he/she is satisfied that the ground has been proven?

    If the Judge won’t, go till you run out of evidence. Not sure that I would worry to much about “piling on”.

    Prove your case and get the divorce. Sensitivity is a wonderful virtue, but it shouldn’t defeat your mission.

  2. Anne Frances Bleecker says:

    Greg — Somehow I have always been attuned to when enough is enough — maybe that is my intuition — but I watch the Judge pretty closely. I haven’t ever tried Joe’s suggestion to ask the Court — but that is a thought. AF

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