Family law cases are often high stakes, emotionally charged, and factually complex. Whether it’s an adoption, a divorce, or a juvenile matter, the outcome of a family law cases can dramatically impact an entire family. Understandably, you want to avoid making costly mistakes if you are involved in a family law matter. With that in mind, a Murfreesboro family law attorney at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby explains five mistakes you can – and should – avoid making in a Tennessee family law case.
- Representing yourself. While there are some legal matters that realistically can be handled without the need to be represented by an attorney, family law issues rarely fall into that category. The inherently emotional nature of family law cases coupled with complex facts and the strong possibility of a contentious dispute make the advice, guidance, and advocacy of an experienced family law attorney imperative in most family law cases.
- Emotional decision-making. As the name implies, family law cases are legal matters that involve the family in one way or another. That alone makes it difficult to be pragmatic and level-headed when making decisions during the course of a family law matter. Nevertheless, making emotional decisions can be a huge mistake. Unfortunately, people typically do not realize those mistakes until long after the case is over, making it difficult to correct them. Do avoid making emotional decisions, do not react in the moment and listen to the advice of your attorney and other trusted advisors.
- Failing to prepare and document. In a family law case, it is not unusual for there to be a considerable amount of “he said/she said” because the litigants made the mistake of entering into litigation unprepared and without objective evidence. When a judge is forced to make decisions in these cases, relying solely on “he said/she said” is less than ideal. If you foresee the need to be involved in a family law case, you can avoid making this common mistake by preparing and gathering documentary evidence which will likely give you a huge advantage.
- Not trusting your attorney. Once you hire an attorney, your attorney is ethically and legally bound by attorney-client confidentiality. That means that with very few exceptions (that rarely ever apply in a family law case), your attorney cannot tell anyone what you tell your attorney. Moreover, your attorney does not expect you to be the perfect client or your case to be the perfect case. Even knowing all this, people frequently make the mistake of not trusting their attorney which causes them to withhold vital information. Your attorney cannot successfully represent you if he/she does not have all the information relevant to the case. Withholding information from your attorney is akin to sending a soldier into battle with a weapon but no ammunition.
- Failing to obey court orders. During the course of a family law case, the court may issue several temporary orders. For example, in a divorce, the court may designate one party as the Primary Residential Parent (PRP) or might issue a no contact order prohibiting contact between the parties while the case is pending. One of the most self-destructive things you can do as a party in a family law case is to ignore or disobey a court order. You may not agree with the order; however, failing to obey it could subject you to criminal charges, contempt of court, and/or the issuance of an even more objectionable order from the court. If you want a court order changed, talk to your attorney about the legal steps necessary to accomplish that goal.
Contact a Murfreesboro Family Law Attorney
If you have additional questions or concerns about how to avoid making mistakes in a Tennessee family law case, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro family law attorney at Bennett | Michael | Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.
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