If I Could Know Only Ten Things About My Family Law Case, What Would They Be?

If I Could Know Only Ten Critical Things About My Family Law Case,

What Would They Be?

1. You probably have a much better understanding of what you are facing in family court than if you had a serious injury claim because your friends may have been through it and you have the WV Supreme Court’s “do it yourself package, but this can lead to over-confidence.
2. There are huge pitfalls in divorce and custody matters as I point out in my blog articles:
3. Your case will be governed by:
         a. The Family Court Rules;
         b. The WV Rules of Civil Procedure;
         c. The WV Rules of Evidence;
         d. The WV Rules of Appellate Procedure;
         f. WV Statutes;
         g. WV Case Law; and
         h. The quirks and traits of your Family Court Judge.
(Unless you are very determined, you know none of these things!)
4. The right lawyer can provide you an invaluable consultation and guide you to these and other important resources for as little at $500. Just a few things you might not know:
a. There is no such thing as “custody” or “visitation” any more;
b. The person who buys a particular item during the marriage, or has it titled solely in her name, still has only a 50% ownership, and it usually doesn’t matter in whose name the property is titled;
c. “My retirement” is not just “my” retirement. It is yours equally, and; d. There are very limited conditions where a Grandparent can seek custodial rights for a grandchild.
5. The lawyer who demands the “big retainer” of $6000-$12,000 may not be right for you! I will tailor the retainer to the percentage of likelihood that the case will, or will not, go to trial. Thus, we can offer equal or better services (we think better) for $1500-$5000 up front retainers. Think of the fellow sitting on that $12,000 pile of cash. Where is the motivation for efficiency and prompt resolution? There is at least an appearance that he might be tempted for make sure several thousand dollars of services are performed before serious settlement efforts are begun. We gladly make partial refunds of retainers, knowing we have another satisfied customer!
6. What you do not know about mediation and settlement techniques can fill dozens of books. With a good lawyer, 90% of cases settle before a trial. Without one? What do you think? And what happens, as in most divorces, when one party has a power advantage?
7. Setting aside the fact that you do not know how to question witnesses, prepare exhibits, or get them admitted into evidence, or make appropriate objections to the other side’s evidence, there are critical techniques you need to organize the facts in your case. I write about that in:

8. If you do not get what you want at the trial level, you will have a “double whammy” in that you do not know how to appeal a case, and you probably already screwed up the record by not knowing what to present at trial.

9. Agreeing to one too many, or too few, overnight visits a month in an agreed parenting plan can costs you thousands of dollars in child support and even prevent, or allow, a parent to move with the child to another state. Think about that!
10. If you call a lawyer, you are still in control. I never hesitate to give a “free consultation” over the phone. Options exist to pay a consultation fee, or you I will give you a firm retainer guote after 15-20 minutes. After hiring the lawyer, you still make the decisions, after getting my advice of course. I have 41 years’ experience, and at least 50,000 hours of family law work, available to help you protect your children and your rights.  jbh

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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