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Top 25 Things You Must Know Before Going to your Court Hearing - Going through a family law case is agonizing emotionally, taxing financially, complicated, confusing, and expensive, regardless of whether you and your spouse are getting along or at each other's throats, whether you have an attorney (or attorneys) or not, how much education you have, or how much money or how many children you have...
An Outline for Taking Charge of Your Divorce - What you and your attorney can do; objectives; strategies; organization; dealing with your soon to be ex-spouse; what to expect; and what to do after the Judge says you are divorced...
How to Get a Divorce: Let Me Count the Ways - When asked about the methods of getting a divorce, I find that most prospective clients think that there are only two ways: mediation and litigation. This surprises me, because there are many ways to get a divorce that lie on a continuum between mediation and litigation. In fact, most divorces proceed through one of those other ways...
No Choice for Children - The Memorandum and Order by the Third Department In the Matter of Mark T. v. Joyanna U. et al., decided and entered July 30, 2011, highlights the flaws in the New York State law guardian process governing matters of custody, visitation, and guardianship proceedings...
"Loose Lips": Close Friends and Some Therapists Can Be Forced to Reveal Your Secrets in a Divorce Trial - "Joyce" was on the witness stand and clearly uncomfortable. She had been subpoenaed to testify at the divorce of her best friend, "Monica", and was being forced to reveal what Monica had confided to her. Thankfully, Monica had not been unfaithful, but she had confessed that the divorce was wearing her down, making her depressed, and affecting her ability to care for her two young children...
We're Getting Divorced Should We Separate? - Many couples are unaware of the effects of separating as a prelude to divorce. The key questions are: (1) why does it matter; and (2) when does "separation" begin?...
MSA! MSA! MSA! WHAT? - The MSA, or Marital Settlement Agreement, is the culmination of a negotiation process that substitutes your ideas of a fair divorce for one imposed on you by a judge...
How to Win: Why Litigation May Not Be The Best Choice - Most of the work of a lawyer is to help a client achieve his or her goals in the most sensible and effective way, and at the least cost - financial and otherwise. We attorneys are trained as problem-solvers. In interviewing clients, we try to find out all facts which are relevant to a client's situation and which may lead to a solution...
Legal Separation and Divorce - In the United States, statistics indicate that half of all marriages will end up in a divorce or legal separation. Often people do not differentiate between divorce and legal separation - both refer to a situation where a couple decides not to live together any more. However, being separated is much different than being divorced...
Witnesses - You know more information about your marriage and the behavior of your spouse than anyone. However, do not underestimate the testimony of strong witnesses. They will help the judge understand why judgment should be in your favor...
Your Testimony - Don't just swear to tell the truth, do it. Cases are won or lost based upon credibility. Don't shade the truth. Judges are looking at everything to form their opinion. If they think you have shaded the truth, they may not look any further...
What to Expect on Cross-Examination - At the conclusion of the direct examination by your attorney (where you have testified to your side of your case), opposing counsel has the right to ask you questions about your testimony...
The Judge - The most important person in your trial is the judge- first, last and always. Never underestimate the power or personality of the judge. This is the individual who can award you custody of your children, or award custody to your spouse...
The Ruling - As abruptly as everything in life ends, so will your trial. When the judge makes his feelings known at the end of a contested divorce trial, it is often difficult to grasp the finality. It's over. The relief you will feel is yet to come...
The Key to Winning in Divorce Court - The rule to remember is: Anticipate and prepare. Think about what your opponent (your spouse) wants, and what he or she will do to get it. Consider their possible defenses and offenses, and then do your homework...
The Burden of Proof in Divorce Cases - How to Win or Lose Divorce Issues - The burden of proof is the evidence one party must present to be successful in proving a case in a court of law. Different types of case have different burdens of proof. Some burdens are harder than others to meet...
Pre-Trial Motions in Divorce Cases A motion is defined as a request for an order from the court, prior to the conclusion of the case. (Motions are available after trial as well, but those are beyond the scope of this article). Pre trial orders are sometimes necessary to compel a party to a lawsuit to do something...
The Adversary Legal System The adversary process lies at the heart of the American legal system. It has a long and deeply embedded history. The primary assumption is that a judge or jury acting as fact finder will "find" the "truth" based on the evidence presented in the conflict by the lawyer-advocates of the opposing adversary parties...


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