What is a family court lawyer?
A family court lawyer is an attorney who practices in family court. In Maricopa County, there are specific family courts set up to address all things family law. Family court has it’s own set of family law rules, called the family law rules of procedure. These rules govern the procedures within the family court. They will tell you what you must disclose and when. The rules tell you what must be filed, what may be filed, how long you have to respond to a pleading or motion and how to get the other party served.
Having a family court lawyer, as opposed to another type of litigation attorney is essential to the success of your family law case. Not only does family court have it’s own set of rules of procedure, the court also has judges assigned to the family court. If your lawyer is familiar with the judges and the rules, your case will be presented more clearly, and ultimately, that is the goal.
As a family court lawyer, my job is to help you tell your story. The best way I can do that is by making sure that all of the procedural hurdles have been met. It is my responsibility to make sure that you have complied with the rules of disclosure and that the opposing party has done so as well. Family court lawyers need to submit exhibits in advance of trial in order for them to be properly marked by the clerk. At a minimum, you will want to submit your AFI (affidavit of financial information), the opposing party’s AFI, and child support worksheets. Additional documents that are typically used for exhibits include third party reports, like a parenting conference provider report, or a non-confidential child interview, visual evidence like photo’s or videos can also be very helpful to child custody cases. If your case involves complex financial issues, you may want to consider including demonstrative exhibits like charts, graphs, or spreadsheets. Again, the purpose of family court cases is to clearly and succinctly tell your story and you should only use exhibits if they help you accomplish this goal.
Family court lawyers should submit a well written and comprehensive pre-trial statement. In my opinion, this is the most important document in your entire family law case. Your pretrial statement should state each and every issue, whether or not it is contested, and the law and facts to support your position on contested issues. By laying out your evidence in your pretrial statement, and using your statement as an outline in court, you will be in good shape for your family court case.
For more questions or issues regarding a family court lawyer, give us a call at 480-649-2905.
Billie Tarascio is a family court lawyer with the law firm of Modern Law. For assistance with document preparation you can check out www.accesslegaldocs.com. Access Legal is a document preparation company providing legal documents designed within the law firm directly to consumers. You can reach Access Legal at 602-457-5798.