The Importance of Strategy in Family Law Cases

The Importance of Strategy in Family Law Cases

All too often I feel like family law attorneys just go through the motions. Every case is treated identically. They use the same language in petitions, send out the same discovery requests and argue the same points. I think this is a disservice to clients.

Developing a strategy for your famiily law case is essential. The first step is to ascertain your objectives. This is really important! Not everyone wants the same thing coming out of a divorce. Your objectives will determine your strategy, so the earlier you define your objectives, the faster you can begin the execution fo your strategy.

For example, I have a client who has a one year old son. She has been home with the baby since his birth, co-sleeps, and is still breastfeeding. She really wants to move out of state to be near her extended family and support network. Her husband, does not want her to go. In this particular case, mom is 100% committed to taking care of her son. She wants to be there for him as much as possible and get a job that allows her to continue the nurturing parenting style she has developed. Dad wants the child in full time day care while they both work and split equal parenting time. 

Under these facts, Mom is very unlikely to be granted her relocation request by the Judge. Her best bet at meeting her primary objective of leaving the state is with Dad’s consent. Dad doesn’t want to pay spousal maintenance. Our strategy was to obtain a temporary order of as much spousal maintenance and child support as possible in order to motivate Dad to let mom move. The first Judge we were assigned almost always grants 50/50 parenting time, even with infants. We filed a notice changing the Judge. The next Juge we were assigned was not as staunchly committed to 50/50 parenting time for all. We negotiated a temporary parenting plan whereby mom kept the majority of the parenting time. We then had a temporary orders hearing securing a high amount of child support and spousal maintenance. Now, we were in excellent shape for negotiating mom’s move out of state.

In general, having a strategy from the time you file your initial pleadings will increase the likelihood of meeting your objectives. Work with an attorney very early on to both determine objective and strategy. The long term gains definitely outweigh the short term cost of working with your attorney.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney, call the office at 470-649