Interesting Tips From a Divorce Lawyer.

1. How To Be Helpful in Your Own Case.
Often times family law clients have so much to say and so much that they want the Court to know about their case. In addition to the statutory guidelines on the length of declarations, it is best to give the Court enough information to understand the scenario, with examples and evidence, but not so much that the Court cannot determine what the issues are and what the evidence is to support one's position. In Los Angeles County, the parties file pleadings and then appear for their hearing, when the parties will have the opportunity to argue their position. Prior to the hearing the parties will attend mediation. Los Angeles is a non-reporting county so the mediation is confidential and the Judge only knows if the matter settled or not, not the circumstances of the mediation. Thereafter the Court will render a decision, usually there and then. Sometimes the Court will take a matter under submission and issue a decision in writing.

2. It is important to be accurate in the declarations and Court filings. Particularly in family law, the credibility of the parties is very important to the Court. If a party misrepresents or inaccurately reports, it could lead the Court to question the veracity and truthfulness of testimony on all issues. This is particularly important on financial disclosures which are often hard to correct at a later time. Often people believe having expenses will help avoid support obligations, but this will not. The primary factor that is considered by the Court is the respective incomes of the parties, and for child support, timeshare of the children.

3. How Does the Court Decide When it Cannot Decide regarding Custody?: There are times when a Judge chooses to utilize other resources in making a decision with respect to a parenting plan, and other custodial issues. There are three collateral resources used by the Courts to assist in recommendations which include a child interview with a Court mental health professional, a PPA which is a parenting plan assessment or the Court can interview the child on it's own (very unusual) with a Court reporter (usually not in the presence of the parties). Upon the conclusion, and issuance of a recommendation to the Court, unless a stipulation is reached the matter will proceed to hearing at which time the collateral source will testify and be subject to cross-examination.