As most of us know, there are no lack of courtroom dramas on popular television. What there is, however, is a lack of knowledge of how different those dramas are from the reality that occurs in a real life courtroom. Some of the biggest mistakes in a Phoenix family law courtroom, are assuming that the judges are similar to tv personalities, and that they care about salacious drama and ongoing rants about private and personal business. In fact, most of those gory details are considered irrelevant and a waste of the Court’s time, thus. Do not make the mistake of bringing up these issues. Often times, doing so may frustrate or anger the judge and distract the Court from addressing the most important issues in your case. Here are a few examples of common mistakes:
1. Fiction: It is really important for the Court to know that my spouse cheated on me with their new partner and, therefore, is a bad parent. As such, I should get sole legal decision making.
Fact: Unless you can prove the new partner is a danger to your common child, i.e. has a domestic violence, drug, alcohol or sexual offense history, the cheating is probably irrelevant.
2. Fiction: I am going to keep this report/document a secret until Trial. It is my “smoking gun.”
Fact: In most instances, there is no “smoking gun” in Phoenix family law courtrooms. You are required to disclose evidence within a certain time frame pursuant to the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure and/or court orders.
3. Fiction: I can walk into the courtroom with all of my paperwork at the time of Trial and the judge will look at all of it because they have to.
Fact: Do not even try it. Unless you have your paperwork/evidence submitted and marked in a timely manner and then presented properly to be admitted into evidence, the judge is not obligated to look at anything – whether you think it is fair or not.
Bottom line: Be careful about what you see on television or hear from non-attorney friends. Only a Phoenix family law attorney can advise you about how to prepare for court in order to prepare for your likelihood for success.
Contact LASITER & JACKSON, PLLC, at 602-234-5900 or www.lasiterlaw.com to schedule a free 30 minute consultation for your family law needs. Your family’s future is worth it.