Sometimes, marriages do not last. There are myriad reasons why this can happen. This situation can be even more challenging if children are involved.
As a parent, you want what is best for your children and try to make custody decisions that will benefit them. Factor in paying child support and fathers rights and the process of divorce can seem overwhelming and can lead to decisions that are against your best interests. Many men do not understand their fathers rights and how the laws work for custody and child support.
For instance, there is the old belief that children should belong to their mother, and she should have the most say. There is no gender bias in family court, and fathers have equal rights regarding visitation and custody.
Some men also do not understand how child support payments work and may end up going broke, trying to support their children. It is also essential to know what your requirements are as far as disclosing income to the Court; the simple answer is to be honest, and never hide your finances.
There is also knowing your parental rights and powers when it comes to divorce. Knowing what legal action you can take to protect yourself and your assets is especially important, as many men think that the woman is going to get everything and don’t realize they are losing the battle.
Be careful about using the same lawyer as your wife to “draft up your divorce papers.” Most attorneys will not agree to represent both parties in a divorce. If you find a lawyer that is willing to represent both of you, make sure they obtain your consent to waive the actual conflict that exists in representing both parties to the divorce. The reality? Be extremely cautious of any lawyer that says they can represent both of you and be sure the lawyer has your best interests in mind.
Pre-divorce Mediation is all the rage these days, but you must approach any pre-divorce family mediation with caution. Be sure your mediator is a skilled family law attorney and not a paralegal or therapist calling themselves a divorce mediator. The bottom line? Non-family law attorneys do not know the law. You might spend tons of money and time mediating a divorce decree only to have it rejected by your divorce judge. Get a lawyer before you mediate.
Don’t hire the first lawyer you meet. We know this sounds counterintuitive, and maybe you liked that first attorney. But we often tell potential clients that hiring an attorney is like being in a dating relationship. You will spend lots of time with your lawyer, and your lawyer will know intimate details about your life. Your case could take months or even years to finish. Interview a few lawyers and hire the divorce or custody attorney that you feel the most comfortable with, that fits your budget, and whose strategy most closely aligns with yours.
The biggest mistake we see men make is hiring their buddy, the personal injury attorney, or insurance defense lawyer. Despite what your friend may think, divorce and custody law is complicated and nuanced. Each judge in the family court likes things done slightly differently, and specific arguments may persuade one judge and turn another judge against you. Hiring an experienced divorce or custody lawyer is critical for the best outcome in your case. Tell your buddy thanks but no thanks. Plus, if you employ your buddy, chances are you won’t be friends when your case is over.
Get rid of the notion that your divorce lawyer is going to do everything for your fathers rights case. Going through a divorce or custody case requires your active participation. After all, it is your family, your finances, and your stuff. Your lawyer will need your help in gathering documents, coming up with parenting plans, and preparing to divide assets and debts. Lawyers handle the legal part. The rest is up to you.
Avoid bringing your new significant other to Court proceedings. It just looks terrible and will only create problems in the long run.
Try to keep third parties out of your divorce or custody case. While it might seem like a great idea to have your neighbor, best friend, or mother in law “mediate” a resolution, chances are this will only cause problems in the long run and will ruin any relationship you hope to have with these people.
Shave and get a haircut before your court appearances. You want to appear clean-cut, approachable, and likable to the judge. Getting a haircut and shaving before your court date shows the judge you are taking your case seriously.
When attending Court hearings, cover tattoos as much as possible. The reality? Many of our judges are old fashioned. This bias goes for piercings too. Remove as many as possible. Again, while this is Las Vegas, most of our family court judges are socially conservative.
The surest way to lose a divorce or custody case is to argue with or talk back to the judge. Believe it or not, we had a former client tell the judge, as he was walking out of Court, “I’m not going to do anything you say.” This outburst did not go well for our former client, and it ruined any chance he had to win his case. Do your best to keep your emotions in check, and you will have the most excellent chance of succeeding in family court.
Be careful when discussing legal matters with your ex. The communications you have with your divorce lawyer or custody attorney are confidential, including legal strategy, settlement proposals, and other issues. It is very tempting to want to discuss your case with the person you once trusted most. It is also nice to try to resolve the problems with your ex without lawyers. However, if you reveal communications and strategies to your ex, you have waived the attorney-client privilege and possibly put your legal case in a weaker position.
Dress appropriately for Court, even if your hearing is on video. In the age of COVID, most Court hearings now get conducted by video. Regardless of whether your hearing is in-person or on video, dress accordingly. You don’t have to go out and buy a designer suit, but a tie and collared shirt doesn’t hurt. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Appearances matter in family court, and dressing for the occasion shows the judge you are taking your case seriously.
Take time to address your mental and emotional health. Being involved in litigation is hard, and when it involves your family and your finances, it is challenging. It is ok to have bad days, and it is ok to take some time out for yourself. Hang out with friends and family. Take a short trip or enjoy a nice dinner out. Be careful about overspending but don’t forget to spend some time on yourself. At some point, the litigation will end, and your mental and emotional wellbeing needs to take priority.
In the end, divorce and sole custody battles are never easy. With these tips, you can make it less difficult for yourself, your children, and your former spouse. Remember to know your fathers rights as a parent and as a person going through these proceedings.
While you may have hard feelings towards your ex, please do not share them around your children; she is their parent too. Know what battles to fight and what things you can let go. Once you are finished with the battles of custody and divorce, you can begin healing and moving your life forward.
Make sure to check out these additional posts that can provide valuable information and insights for your divorce journey:
These posts cover various important aspects of divorce, such as managing a business during divorce, navigating the legal process, strategies for uncontested divorce, dealing with financial issues, understanding the timeline of a divorce in Nevada, and important questions to ask your divorce lawyer.
By exploring these resources, you can gain valuable knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions and successfully navigate your divorce process.
Are you considering getting a divorce in Las Vegas?
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Our knowledgeable team of experienced attorneys will provide personalized, professional advice and work hard on your behalf to achieve the best outcome for your case.
With our experience navigating Nevada’s intricate legal system, we’ll do our best to ensure everything runs smoothly from start to finish—so that all you have left are memories of success!
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