Read this article if you are interested in:
- Some practices you can adopt to prepare for family law trials.
- How long before trial you should most likely start preparing.
- Learning about what information you may need to know for your trial.
How Should I Prepare For A Trial?
We advise beginning to prepare for trial as soon as possible. Although doing so will not guarantee victory in your family law case, it will ensure you have the best chance of it as possible.
Our approach and recommendations are simple. If there are ways you can use what we lay out here, we highly recommend doing so. However, knowing what information to include in your factor charts will prove difficult without a deep knowledge of family law in New York.
We give clients “factor charts” and questionnaires to fill out. The factor chart we have is a Microsoft Word document with relevant New York law and the many associated factors. The clients are directed to fill it out with as much information as they think is relevant.
We recommend clients to list both information which supports his/her claims/defenses in the case, as well as information which s/he thinks may hurt the opposing party’s claims/defenses in the case. We further recommend that all entries should be supported with references to documentary and/or witness evidence (& copies of same should be provided to our office on or before the Pre-Trial Conference at the latest) – if it is not, the client risks the Court not accepting his/her mere testimony as sufficient evidence of the factor. Moreover, If the documents were demanded from the opposing side in disclosure, then they should be provide to our office on or before the deadline for completion of disclosure.
After submitting it, we schedule an appointment to analyze it together. We then brainstorm what evidence we will need to gather and what evidence the other side will likely cite in their arguments. Evidence can be text messages, email, eyewitness testimony, audio messages, videos, etc.
This should take place as far in advance of the trial as possible. We also recommend if the client would like us to subpoena documents and/or witnesses for trial, such subpoenas must generally be issued more than 30 days prior to his/her trial date to allow sufficient time for production of the records/witness. Likewise, we recommend clients to produce to our office at least 30 days in advance of trial current & representative copies of all statements, bills, invoices, etc. corroborating each & every item recorded on client’s Net Worth Statement or Financial Disclosure Affidavit (income, expenses, assets & debts) if this has not already been done.
We also give clients a lengthy questionnaire for trials on custody issues – a nearly 40 page document. The goal is to provide as much detail from their perspective about the issue as possible. We then also have them fill out a factor chart as we do with asset distribution.
We also provide clients who have a contested custody case a “Timeline of Events” chart to fill out. They are directed to fill it out as detailed as possible. This document gives us an idea of how their family life has been up to that point in time and the client adds to it as the case unfolds.
Although there is no set way to prepare for family law case trials, we find this to be the most efficient way where our clients can meaningfully participate.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Family Law in New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (347) 797-1188 today.