March 28, 2017
When you visit your attorney’s office – whether it is your first consultation or a regular meeting to go over your matter – you want to be as prepared as possible. Each moment you spend with your attorney should add to your case. This applies to any area of law, but what I would like to focus on today is the particular significance of documenting everything in your family law case.
Whether you are going through a divorce or a custody battle – it is supremely important to gather documentation and evidence. “What kind of evidence?” you may ask. Imagine anything you would like a judge or your attorney to know about your case. Now, rack your brain for where you might find hard documentation or evidence of those facts. You live in a two bedroom house and your child has his or her own bedroom? Take pictures of it. Take pictures of where your child plays. Are you noticing increasing spending patterns? Print out the bank statements.
Social media and cell phones can provide an endless supply of information. To our clients, delete your social media page, or if you are that attached to Facebook or Instagram, watch what you say and avoid inappropriate posts. Before you post a picture or update your status, think to yourself, “would I want a judge to see this?” On the other hand, let your attorney know about any social media sites that the opposing party frequents. Take screen shots of inappropriate pictures, comments, or behaviors. Screen shot text conversations. All too often, people unwittingly reveal negative events, thoughts, and behaviors through their social media presence. Document it.
There are plenty of events or issues that cannot be found in phone records, bank statements, or social media posts. For those, we always recommend our clients keep a journal. Make it a daily practice to write down events. Don’t let too much time pass between what occurs and when you write about it. Most importantly, stay honest in your recollections. This practice can give insights to your attorney that a photograph or bank statement could never offer. Reviewing your notes alongside any other documented evidence can provide your attorney with the context needed to fully flesh out any issues that may come up in your trial or in negotiations.
When it comes down to it, you, the client, have all of the access to important information about your case. It may feel like homework to compile documents or regularly write in a journal, but it is work that will pay off. Your attorney needs an honest and realistic depiction of your life and events as they relate to your particular case. We will work with you to identify those records that are important and relevant to your case. We will get to know you and your situation and cater our services to your needs. We will work for and with you to find a resolution. Call our offices today and schedule a free consultation with one of our many attorneys practicing Family Law and Domestic cases.