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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. Find information to counter what they have to say. Look on the Internet, go to the library, and find magazines and books. When you fight back you need to always back yourself up with proof. Anybody can say anything, but having facts in print is imperative.

All of this must be in the context of the law, and the law can be a brutal thing. The first time you enter a court you may feel overwhelmed. The judge's rulings may seem unfair to the point of being ridiculous. Here is an example: your ex isn't paying any child support and you receive a shutoff notice for the electricity in midwinter. You don't have a court date for another three weeks. Your attorney informs you that you must wait until your court date to get any help. Emergency orders are rarely granted. So your electricity can be shut off while you wait for your court date. You wait, hoping they won't shut it off before the court date. Then, with two days to go, your lawyer calls. Your court date has been postponed! This happens all the time. The calendars of family courts are always overcrowded. You may sit waiting through a whole day, paying your lawyer more with each hour that passes, only to be told that your case has been delayed for two weeks.

Your lawyer will know these things, but don't rely too completely on that. A good lawyer is an expert, but a lawyer is also your representative and your advisor. He or she is there to convey your case to the court. To do the job well a lawyer must know exactly what you are after. But you must have some knowledge of the law as well. Only then can you ask the right questions, and make informed choices when the lawyer presents you with options and decisions. It's essential for you to learn as much as you can about the family laws in your state. These are the laws governing marriage, children, common assets, and divorce.

Every day women suffer travesties of injustice in courtrooms. It is a bruising process. Realize that from the start. Form a thick skin. If you don't, you will be constantly frustrated and upset. I shed many a tear from frustration as my husband walked away without paying our children a dime. At each juncture I returned to a home where every responsibility was mine. I still thank God I had a family that helped me through those dark days. I often think of the women who do not have such support, and wonder how they manage.

Once again, the rule is: Anticipate and prepare. If you realize the road will be a long and hard one, you can anticipate the difficulties, and prepare with the support of your family.

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