Tips on How to Prepare for Divorce Court

1. Communicate with your lawyer regarding what to expect

Clarify what topics might be addressed by the other side prior to divorce court. Will the opposing team be focusing on finances? If so, have facts at your fingertips. Attorneys I know do not go over specific questions which may be asked. Their clients run the risk of sounding rehearsed. It is better to be natural than seem to be retelling a story. If the questions one practiced answering with their attorney are worded in a different way, that individual can get thrown off track. Ask what territory might be covered on the witness stand so you have an idea and are less likely to have a nasty surprise.

2. Before answering each question – pause

If you jump right in with a reply, this can mess it up when your attorney is going to object to a specific question. An objection goes on the record and a judge may not require you to reply to what was asked. A pause allows one to collect their thoughts and get grounded.

3. Answer honestly as you are under oath

This goes for collaborative divorce as well. I was asked in a collaborative session about a certain financial figures. I started to guess and my attorney cut me off and changed the topic. If what you are asked is ambiguous, have the attorney clarify the question.

4. Answer questions briefly and to the point

My lawyer emphasized it is not my job to give the other side extra information to build up a case. Do not explain your viewpoint. Reply in as few words as possible. Sometimes questions are a fishing expedition. The opposition is hoping for new information to surface so they can use it to plan another line of attack.

5. When you are finished with your answer, keep quiet

A trick used by the other side is to wait – hoping you will fill in the silence with more content. Even if they stare at you for five minutes, keep your mouth shut. Do not elaborate on what you just said, because you are uncomfortable with this gap between questions. I sat with my hands folded on top of the table and remained completely still for as long as it took before the interrogation resumed. My ex-husband’s lawyer realized his ploy had failed.

Your spouse’s lawyer may ask the same question again in another way. This is an attempt to get you to contradict yourself or add additional information. This was done to me. I answered the reworded questions exactly the same way each time. After trying this several times unsuccessfully, the opposition stopped doing it.

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6. Ways to reduce anxiety

Take deep breaths to oxygenate your body and help you relax. We tend to take shallow ones when stressed. Physical exercise, especially out in nature, lowers anxiety. I had a strenuous run before my deposition to release pent-up emotions and become calmer. Homeopathic remedies have helped many of us get through divorce and beyond. I consulted with several naturopathic healthcare providers for both long-term supplements to take and short-acting ones to get through a grueling hour or two. There are non-pharmaceutical remedies which help an individual sleep when stressed out over divorce.

It helps to put your situation into perspective. My collaborative divorce and a few times in divorce court afterward only amounted to 3% of my probable lifespan. Gather supportive people around you to help get through whatever life throws at you.

How do I Find a Divorce Attorney?

The first place to start in order to find a divorce attorney is to gather a short list of family law attorneys in your area. Ask friends or colleagues who practice law for a referral. Lawyers frequently refer work out that is not in their specialty. The legal community is relatively small so a lawyer may have more insight into the lawyers who are well thought of versus the ones who take a scorched earth approach or do not know the law.

Ask people you know who’ve been through this before. Be sure they were happy with their representation or note who is on the ‘do not hire’ list! This is a really good way to understand more about how the lawyer will work with clients.

Do research. Great resources to use to find a divorce attorney are the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and state board certification lists, if applicable. Texas, for example, recognizes lawyers who have achieved Board Certification in family law. To receive this recognition, a lawyer has to have practiced at least five years, achieved certain objective practice milestones such as jury trials and appellate work, and have passed an additional test specific to family law. Looking at a lawyer’s AVVO rating can also be helpful. This is a rating that lawyers get from clients and peers. You can search by location, read their ratings, and read client reviews. Be wary of various pay-for-play advertisements that claim a lawyer is “best.” Many local and industry publications offer lawyers and other professionals the opportunity to essentially advertise to be recognized in their field. If it is an achievement recognized by peers or clients, it is probably a good resource. If someone can pay for the recognition, disregard it.

Narrow Down Your List

Once you have your list of names, it is time to narrow it down. Ideally, you should have a short in-person conference with two of the lawyers on your list before making a selection. When narrowing the list, consider:

  • Whether multiple sources recommended them.
  • Whether the gender of the lawyer is important to you. Men may prefer to be represented by women and vice versa.
  • Whether the lawyer charges for a consultation. There are good lawyers of each type. Your budget may be a factor in whether you want to meet with someone who will charge for a consultation.
  • Have a short telephone conference. This can give you some quick insight into whether an attorney will be a good fit for you.

Meet with Two of Your Options in Person

Once you narrow down your list of candidates to two, meet with each in person. This is an important decision. It can be costly to switch attorneys in the middle of a case. Spend time on the front end to help increase your chances of a good fit. When you meet with the lawyers, consider these topics and questions:

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Make sure the Financials Add Up

What is their hourly rate and do they require a retainer? Once you find a divorce attorney, be cautious not to assume that a lawyer’s hourly rate or initial retainer is an indication of the charges overall. Some lawyers work more efficiently, and so even with a higher hourly rate, they may handle your case more cost-effectively. Will they use lower rate professionals like paralegals and associates to help keep costs down? Will they use technology to help keep costs down and increase efficiency?

Get the Right Team

Who will actually work on the case? As noted above, for financial reasons you may want a junior person to do some of the work on your case. However, you may feel more comfortable if a more senior lawyer handles hearings and trial work. Every case, lawyer, and client is different. The important thing here is for you to feel comfortable with the balance of having adequate representation and the cost you are paying for it.

How To Boost Your Self-Confidence After Divorce

One of the more difficult components of moving on after a divorce is redefining who you are. This is not to say that you were someone else when you were married. Just different.

You see, in the course of a lifetime our personality and how we identify ourselves evolves. However, we don’t evolve in a vacuum. Our experiences, our choices, and our relationships actively impact the evolution of our self-image and in turn our self-confidence.

In this way, our decisions are influenced by what we believe we can do and what we should be doing.

If you believe you’re a good person with high moral standards, you will be more conscientious about your actions. Conversely, if you see yourself as not worthy of love and inferior, you may not take social risks for fear of rejection or embarrassment. All this contributes to how you see yourself and it influences your daily habits.

When you are in a committed, monogamous relationship the fears and reservations you may have had in the beginning start to fade away. You feel secure in the relationship and you carry yourself with confidence. In fact, many studies in social psychology have supported the positive life influence of a healthy romantic relationship. Those studies highlight the increased levels of happiness, self-confidence, healthier platonic relationships, improved physical health, improved job performance, and many more.

It’s no surprise why being in a very future relationship becomes a core element in however we tend to see ourselves. The question now is; how do we re-examine our self-worth and confidence after that once positive relationship has ended? Here square measure some suggestions that have helped my purchasers when an extended term relationship has ended:

1. List your positive traits and accomplishments.

Remember what you contributed to your relationship and the positive traits your loved ones would ascribe to you. This means simply having one more positive thought than negative thoughts begins to change your brain’s frequency. And you want a positive frequency. So go on and list your positive traits and feel free to read through the list every morning before you start your day. Doing this will help you go out into the world radiating with confidence.

2. Write (and read) your personal story.

Reflect on how you have positively grown throughout the relationship. You have undoubtedly grown and learned about yourself, relationships, and what you want (or don’t want) in your life. Learning these important details makes it easier to recognize who you are when things begin to change. The sooner you’ll be able to acknowledge that individual happenings of your life don’t outline you, the sooner you can look at the bigger picture and see the accumulation of experiences that have prepared you for this moment.

“Life is one epic novel jam-packed with excitement, plot twists, love, loss, fear, and triumph. The real magic is that we tend to get to come to a decision however it ends. Decide the ending and browse each preceding chapter as Associate in Nursing exciting journey in character development; getting ready you for your greatest purpose. The climax of the story.”

3. Showcase your unique skills.

Begin Associate in Nursing activity or task that may need your distinctive skills to accomplish. Remind yourself of your ability to work hard and accomplish something meaningful to you. For example, if you’re good at baking, then bake a cake for a friend’s birthday. If you’re handy with tools, then design and build a piece of furniture for your living room or study. You see, using the skills you already have and honing them will raise your self-efficacy (the belief that you can accomplish goals). You, in turn, will have the confidence to set larger goals that will require more time and effort but will lead to a reward that holds a greater intrinsic value.