5 Tips for Preparing to go to Trial

Karen BigmanBlog, Coaching, Divorce Process

I’ve been seeing a lot of clients going through the litigation process. The threat of a trial is often used to bring couples to the bargaining table. One would think that the cost and time of a trial would be enough to scare anyone into agreeing. Unfortunately, time and again, that’s not the case. At the end of the day, the only “winners” are the attorneys whose fees go through the roof for a trial.

Everyone wants justice served!

“The judge will hear what I have to say and give me everything I want!”

“He/She’s a lying, cheating so and so!”

Judge’s dockets are so full that they have very little time to hear any of your complaints. If you go into court thinking that the judge will have sympathy for you because your spouse cheated, I hate to be the bearer of bad news-let go of it! A trial is a forum for a judge to hear the facts of the case and decide on the issues based on the law.

A judge is just like anyone else, they have good days and bad days; they have certain history of their own; they have experiences that affect their decisions. Most importantly, they are overwhelmed with cases and look to be as efficient as possible. If your attorney files frivolous motions, thinking they can sway the judge by making all sorts of allegations, it could work against you. If the details of the case are straight forward and one party is just refusing to settle for no good reason, the judge will not be happy. Wasting the court’s very precious time is not a good idea!

If you find yourself in a situation where trial seems inevitable, at least you can be as prepared as possible:

1.    Make a list of the big issues that need to be litigated and prioritize.

2.    Spend time with your attorney in advance strategizing.

3.    Make sure you understand what the goals and requested outcomes are.

4.    If you’re attorney is arguing a point, make sure he/she has all the necessary documentation to prove it. You are responsible for providing that documentation.

5.    Do your part in advance, whatever it is that is asked of you to demonstrate that you are acting in good faith-even if your spouse isn’t.

Trials are incredibly stressful and expensive, do your very best to be prepared.