Some clients assume the result is essentially going to be the result. Many often assume as well that when it comes to property and debt division, custody, support and other related matters that the court is simply going to follow the law and formulas that are set forth and that the result is almost pre-ordained.
The reality is that family court judges have a lot of discretion in family law to render judgments. Certainly, there are laws and formulas that come into play. But family court judges can have a range of discretion of terms of how they applies those laws and formulas based on the findings of fact that they make.
For this reason, it’s important for any party that they be prepared for their court date. This is especially true if there is a trial or evidentiary hearing with contested issues in play.
For the client, it might mean little things like knowing how to dress and when and where to arrive. But it can mean larger items like knowing what questions might be asked of them if they are going to testify. It might mean ensuring that their attorney has exhibits marked in advance of court and that the client has reviewed and is familiar with them. It might mean knowing how the trial or evidentiary hearing might work. It also might mean some preparation in terms of court etiquette.
Some clients might be resistant to preparation as well due to the cost. With attorneys billing hourly in many instances, they might not want to incur the cost. They might expect that the attorney might not need a lot of time.
The reality, however, is preparation is enormously important for lawyers as well. A good general rule of thumb is that an attorney can be expected to prepare for about two hours for every hour of trial set. Preparation can involve outlining trial questions. It might mean reviewing important exhibits. It might mean discussions with witnesses, copying and marking of exhibits, drafting of legal motions and issuance of subpoenas, etc.
If you are going through a divorce or family law matter, Stange Law Firm PC can help. You can call us at 1-855-805-0595.