DAILY TOOL: Divorce Tools Steering You Off Track

TOOL OF THE DAY: Analyzing Divorce Tools

CATEGORY: Family Law Strategy

If you are surfing around looking for something you can use to gain an advantage so that you can get custody of your children, you can find tons of attorneys, coaches, support groups, and other advisers all swearing by their methods and tools.

You only get one shot at a final trial.

How you start off determines the tone and momentum of your case. If you start off reckless your result will be wreckless and haphazard.

So what tools you choose and who you choose to help you is crucial. So how do you know what tools to use? Is one wrong and another one right? Is there something you can do to ensure more success?

The divorce industry does not have a consumer reports or an Annie’s list of sorts available for custody suits. So we are left with peer reviews and referrals or just good old fashioned google search terms like “how to win child custody,” “who is the best divorce attorney,” or “pro se forms,” and “help with custody hearing,” etc. In other words, you are stuck with relying on your searches and what those search results produce, and who and what you choose to believe; Facebook posts or blogs telling you what their personal experience is with using a particular attorney or method or book.

There are sites where you can look up to see if a particular attorney has any complaints or sanctions or how many times they have won SuperLawyer of the year, but that’s about as far as that inquiry goes. None of these tell you how many times the attorney gave up someone’s rights, how many times they requested more burdens be placed on their client, and how many times they bullied their client into giving in to the demands of the other party. And these sites do not list the cost each person incurred to get the results that they got.

None of these sites tell you what tools will give you the best results or which ones will protect you from expensive burdens, which strategies to combine, or which attorneys are best trained to employ these. Or which attorneys are best at preserving your rights for appeal.

Of course, we all want to be able to convince the judge at trial especially if you spent several years waiting to get to that point.

There is a way to protect yourself from some things. You can worry less about which forms you choose when you have something to help you analyze the sufficiency of those forms. If you have an attorney preparing pleadings or whether you are using pro se forms, when you know your rights and how to communicate those rights to the court, you can integrate those into your pleadings as well as rehearse with your attorney so that this gets conveyed to the court. Now you have reduced the risk of having to find an attorney who is already perfectly trained in this or finding forms that already cover all of it. Since you won’t be likely to find either of these.

This really is no different than when you see a medical physician. Most of us have looked up what we think is wrong with us and have studied the different solutions and possibilities. So when the physician discusses your condition, you are better able to understand it and know what questions to ask, what to look for, and what to trust or not trust.

The materials that we provide can be integrated and applied with most forms and most attorneys can work this material into their presentation.

When this doesn’t work is if you choose a method that discounts the rights that the constitution protects. If you choose a method like wanting to claim that the courts are an illegal court or were not formed under constitutional authority, or that you are a sovereign and are not under the jurisdiction of the court, you will have difficulty using rights that are derived from the constitution.

If you are trying to use a method that steers away from your constitutional protections, you might want to be cautioned that you are leaving the realm of protection and leverage that the constitution provides you.