Top Ten Mistakes Divorcing Parties Make

Top Ten Mistakes Divorcing Parties Make to Hurt their Case

Advice from a California Certified Family Law Specialist – Irvine / San Diego / Temecula

With decades of legal experience, our lawyers have seen just about every divorce issue imaginable.  We have seen the best ways clients handle difficult situations and we have seen the worst ways clients handle situations.  We have witnessed the positive effects that good acts and qualities can have on the outcome of a divorce case.  We have also witnessed the negative effects that result from mistakes made by divorcing parties, which not only effect that person but their children, immediately family, and financial status. Whenever we begin representing a client, we provide them with a detailed memorandum of what they should expect in their divorce case (i.e. common issues that arise), what information they must obtain and/or protect, and what kinds of things they should be doing versus what kinds of things they must not do.  This guide highlights some of the mistakes that divorcing parties make that may have severely negative impact on their divorce or legal separation case.  We hope you find these points helpful to understand what types of behavior to avoid. Here are the top ten mistakes divorcing parties can make:

  • Not researching the best attorney for their case, which means the best fit.  Hire an attorney that is extremely knowledgeable, accessible, has an excellent track record, is unafraid to litigate, and fits within your budget.  Here is a detailed guide to selecting the best attorney for your divorce.
  • Failing to create a journal of their time caring for a minor child.  This is crucial in custody cases to show daily caregiving routines.
  • Not providing the family law judge with enough information about your issue for a motion for custody, child support or spousal support.  Many times, we have seen parties file totally scarce declarations in court that don’t provide the judge with nearly enough background information.  You want to file a detailed but concise declaration so you can try to win the hearing before you even step in the courtroom.
  • Failing to protect electronically stored information.  Often, electronic information is the subject of a discovery request and if the information is “missing”, there could be devastating evidentiary penalties imposed.  Further, some information may be extremely useful to your case and you don’t want a computer or smart phone crash to wipe out crucial information.
  • Not being prepared to testify and have relevant third party witnesses ready to testify on the date of your hearing.  This is extremely important in Orange County divorce cases, because the hearings are conducted following the “Elkins” law in California, which is that everyone (basically) has the right to testify and present oral evidence, even on a routine motion.
  • Failing to communicate important facts to your attorney.  You don’t want your attorney being surprised at court or during negotiations by something you forgot to mention to them.
  • Not playing “detective” and gathering as many relevant financial documents as they can, including account statements and financial information stored on computers.
  • Failing to understand the basic framework of how a divorce case works and all the myriad of options that are available to a divorcing party to gain information and succeed in the case.  We provide our clients with a solid understanding of how a case normally progresses, and we take the time to explain options.
  • Failing to take pictures of personal property items in the marital home.  Often, items disappear so it is wonderful to have photographic or video evidence of an item that was in the home before it went missing or became damaged by the other spouse.
  • Missing court and other deadlines.  Make sure your attorney communicates with you and not only provides you with every single piece of paper they receive from the opposing counsel, but provides you with a detailed calendar of important dates for you to remember.

For more information about divorce or how we can help you, call our office today.  In Irvine, Orange County call (949) 955-9155.  In Temecula, Riverside County, call (951) 249-7022.