Being in the middle of a family law case (which may include a trial) is one of the most stressful things that some people will go through in their lives. Unfortunately, things can always get worse. It can get worse because it can end badly if the parties cannot come to some sort of wise resolution and cannot end it amicably or through some sort of consent order. That is because a trial can have some lasting consequences that you may not have thought of.
In this blog we will explain what we mean by that, specifically why some people would want to avoid a family law trial. Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
What happens in a family law trial?
A family law trial occurs when the parties cannot come to a resolution on their own. In a trial, both parties have the opportunity to call witnesses to testify and tell their stories that the judge will consider when making his or her decision. These available witnesses include the ability for the parties themselves to testify, and for them to call each other to the witness stand.
Why might a trial be a problem for me?
Because of the nature of trials, they may become a problem for some people in the future. What we mean by this is that trials are open, public, and recorded. In fact, they become the matter of public record forever. This is what people often fail to realize ahead of time.
There is a lot of mudslinging that goes on during trials, and those things can come back to bite a person later in life. This is because anyone can request a copy of the court transcript and look at the court file.
Examples of that people might not have considered
- Client is in the middle of a child custody trial, and he has a lot of dirt on his soon to be ex-wife. He’s ready to get on the stand and tell the judge about all the cheating, all the bad behavior and all the terrible things she has done. None of these things really have anything to do with how she treated the children, but he thinks it will be a factor. This client also has three young daughters. In this scenario, we like to remind the client that when his daughters are older, they can always get a copy of the court transcript and hear all the terrible things that were said about their mom.
- Client is in the middle of a child custody trial. Her daughter’s father was a drug addict, and because of this he was not involved in the child’s life for the first four years. He’s cleaned up now and trying to make an active effort to be better in order to leave his past behind. Any testimony with regards to his past will be a matter or public record forever.
If you are planning on being involved in a family law matter, you may want to hire a family law attorney or at the very least set up a consultation so that you can have some information about what you are going to get into. For family law matters in Charlotte NC, or the surrounding areas, contact us.