8 Mistakes to Make Sure not to do in Your Divorce, Paternity or Legal Separation Family Law Case in 2014 in San Diego Superior Court

It is always easier to do something than to undo something. This is so true in any paternity, legal separation or divorce case in San Diego. As all want to try and get the best result for their issues of the parenting plan and who the children live with as well as support and division of debts and assets, it is important to know what to avoid. Below are some mistakes to make sure not to make.

NOT TELLING THE TRUTH IN EITHER PLEADINGS UNDER OATH OR TESTIMONY

In all divorce, legal separation or paternity cases, the declarations which are filed are under penalty of perjury or jurat {I declare under penalty of perjury that the above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge} and the weight given is the same whether in writing or orally at time of testimony. Credibility is crucial to the success of any family law case and having your credibility destroyed will significantly damage your legal separation, paternity or divorce case. There is a difference, as well, between a mistake and a lie.

NOT ATTENDING THE MANDATORY FAMILY COURT SERVICES MEDIATION

San Diego Family Court Services is mandatory when a motion is filed for custody and/or visitation and this does not matter whether your case is paternity, divorce or legal separation. On the motion itself is a place for the Clerk of the Court to note the date and time and place for the Family Court Services mediation. Failure to attend can result in monetary sanctions and also may incur the disapproval of the Judge which is something no parent ever wants to do as the Judge will decide their case absent an agreement. Make sure to carefully calendar the date and time as it is easy to miss this and only look at the hearing date.

DO NOT INTERRUPT THE JUDGE OR ATTORNEY OR OTHER PARTY

As family law cases are so emotional, it is most difficult for parents in a legal separation, divorce or paternity, to sit and listen when the other party is lying and not say anything. Many think by not objecting then and interrupting right then, that they lose the right to object. All who have been to court numerous times will report that the Judge will get upset if you interrupt the Judge in any way when they are speaking. Most Judges extend this dislike to interruptions of parties as well. Doing this, especially after being warned not to do this, can be very prejudicial to your case.

DO NOT COME TO COURT UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS WHETHER PRESCRIPTION OR NOT

In 2014, many parties will come to court under the influence. This may be from prescription or non prescription drugs. Given the family law code which looks to the health, safety and welfare of the child[ren], being under the influence is a safety issue for parenting. If this conduct is exhibited in court before a Judge, this would severely damage a request for custody and/or visitation and may lead to arrest if under the influence of a controlled substance such as methamphetamine.

DO NOT BRING CONTRABAND AND/OR WEAPONS TO THE COURT HOUSE

It is very important not to bring any non permissible items into the court house. This includes all manner of contraband such as illegal drugs. This also includes weapons such as firearms and knives which exceed a certain length. There is a detailed list which is available to the public and there is no better time to be “safe than sorry”. Bringing weapons or contraband into the court house is a criminal offense which can lead to custody and/or fine including a conviction on your record.

NOT REVIEWING YOUR FILE BEFORE COURT

Many times, parties do not either (1) have a full copy of their file or (2) do not review their file before court. Failure to so do can have disastrous results in court since the Judge may ask questions based upon your pleadings or the other party’s pleadings and you want to be consistent and truthful. It is very easy to be nervous in court which only increases the chances you do not hear the question of the Judge correctly or answer without thinking. Reviewing your file before court, as an attorney does, will make you less nervous and will refresh your memory regarding declarations and facts which may have occurred months, if not years, ago.

VIOLATING THE AUTOMATIC TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS

In all family law cases, there are automatic temporary restraining orders {look on the back of the summons} which prohibit minor children being taken outside California without a written court order or a written agreement of the parties. Similarly, for legal separation and divorce cases, there are prohibitions on property. Make sure to read this very carefully as many parties in a family case are unaware of this.

ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE PROVOKED

It is very easy to become provoked. Remember, you are now in an adversarial relationship as litigants in court. Do not allow yourself to become a “puppet” and have someone else pull your strings so that you do or say something which will be used against you at court. One recommendation is read [and then read again] your response in e mail or text as these can be introduced in court and can be very damaging.

CAN A LOCAL SAN DIEGO FAMILY LAW FIRM HELP YOU AVOID THESE MISTAKES AND MANY OTHERS?

The law firm of Doppelt & Forney, APLC can assist you with avoiding the above and many other pitfalls in the legal process. Their local and trusted law firm offers up to a 30 minute free consultation with an analysis of your legal case. Please feel free to contact them to set up your appointment.

Client Reviews
Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future.
★★★★★
I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
★★★★★
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.
★★★★★
Contact Us FREE IN-OFFICE CONSULTATION
Phone Number: 800.769.4748
captcha