Attorney Jonathan Jacobs of the Jacobs Law Firm is a family law trial attorney in Orlando. Divorce and paternity litigation is a complex process. There are many stages a family trial attorney must complete with/on behalf of their client before a case is ready to proceed to trial. At the outset of a case, your family law trial attorney will draft your initial pleadings and related documents. Among the centerpieces of your case pleadings is the petition. The petition for dissolution of marriage or petition for determination of paternity is intended to state the primary allegations and to ask the court for specific forms of relief. If you need a family law trial attorney Orlando to litigate your case at any stage (initial pleadings/paperwork, mediation, depositions, trial, or otherwise) call Jacobs Law Firm to speak with a family and divorce lawyer. Dial 407-335-8113 to schedule an appointment. Please have your case number and any relevant documents ready to share with us to best diagnose your case and make recommendations.
Family Law Trial Attorney and the Process
There are many decisions that you must make as a litigant when filing your initial petition. A family law trial attorney Orlando knows that although a petition can be amended at a future time, doing so often involves an additional motion and hearing. You may prefer to have the allegations and relief you seek determined at the outset. Discuss your preferences and the facts of your case with your family trial attorney before filing your case. Make sure to the best of your knowledge that your claims and allegations are properly and fully represented from the start of your case.
In your petition you may wish to ask the court for relief such as equal or majority timesharing with your children, an award of alimony, the partition and sale of a marital home, and other forms of equitable relief/distribution of marital property. If your case is for the establishment of paternity, you may ask the court for scientific/genetic testing and/or the establishment of child support. The general principle (with many exceptions) is that if a litigant does not petition for specific relief, the court might not grant their request at a future time.
Mediation Before Trial
The circuit court offers litigants many chances to resolve their family law case(s) on their own terms. Litigants often complete their case during the financial disclosure phase known as discovery. Sometimes the burden of exchanging years or months of financial documents can be burdensome and cause litigants to reconsider extending their family case. Other times, the parties simple evolve in their positions as parents or reasonably prudent professionals and reach settlement agreements prior to attending mediation. Your family law trial attorney Orlando will assist you in performing financial discovery and oversee the process to ensure your disclosures are completed within reason pending certain objections that may be proper.
In most jurisdictions, family judges require litigants to attend at least one mediation to finalize their case in part or in full. This relieves circuit courts of massive dockets and allows many reasonable litigants to settle on their own terms, with certain exceptions. A family trial attorney will advise you on what may be reasonable for settlement purposes given the unique facts of your case and the likely outcome should your case go to trial. If your case is decided at mediation it likely means some compromises have been made. If children are involved, the best interest standard remains in effect and should be in the forefront of every parent’s mind. If the financial aspects of equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities are resolved by mediated settlement agreement, there may have been some careful planning to prevent further dissipation of assets and that both parties start their post-marital life without further uncertainty. Mediation is the last formal opportunity to resolve a family law case prior to trial preparation.
Family Law Trial Attorney Orlando and Pre-Trial Preparation
If you have hired the Jacobs Law Firm to go to trial your family law trial attorney Orlando will need to perform pre-trial preparation. Pre-trial preparation may include propounding interrogatories and requests for admissions on the other party. Pretrial preparation may also include the preparation of witness and exhibits lists. Some jurisdictions require a pre-trial statement addressing the issues anticipated to be addressed at trial. This provides the attorneys an opportunity to mutually confer and understand the issues to be addressed at trial.
The most contentious proceeding that may occur on the road to trial is when a family law trial attorney in Orlando sets litigants and/or witnesses for depositions. Depositions are utilized to make a record for trial and as a potential tool for the impeachment of witnesses. Many litigants prefer to avoid depositions because of the costs of the court reporter and transcript, but they are a valuable tool in your Orlando family law trial attorney’s toolkit.
Family Law Trial
Provided your case has reached trial, upon the advice of the attorneys or litigants, the court will set the trial for a number of hours or days. This determination is made based on the number of issues such as child timesharing, child support, alimony, the equitable distribution of assets, et al. The amount of preparation that goes into litigating a case is substantial. The greater the number of hours spent preparing for trial, the better prepared your Orlando family law trial attorney will be to argue your case. Family law trials are contentious and can be stressful for litigants. This is all the more reason to ensure your preparation is comprehensive.
Ultimately, the court will render a final judgment that decided the issues your case involves. The judge may issue a ruling moments or hours after a trial is concluded, or in other instances a court may require days to make written findings. Most cases and most issues are appealable. The decisions made by the court are generally equitable, but in some cases, an appeal may be appropriate.
Attorney Jonathan Jacobs of the Jacobs Law Firm is a family law trial attorney in Orlando that litigates family and divorce law issues for clients. If you need to retain counsel for any aspect of your family law litigation, call us for a consultation and find out more about your rights. Dial 407-335-8113 and speak with an attorney about your case.