Taking Your Divorce Case to Trial Requires Just as Much from You as It Does of Your Lawyer, By Braxton Mounteer, Legal Assistant

Taking your divorce case to trial is almost always a long, complicated, and emotionally exhausting process. You may be tempted to believe you can leave all of the work to your lawyer and show up the day of trial to sit on the sidelines while your lawyer does all the work. It might be nice if this were the way it could be, but it can’t.

Your trial is the final round; you need to work harder at your trial than you did in the months (perhaps even the years) leading up to the trial. You should be ready to testify—knowledgeably and shrewdly[1] on any issue in your case at your trial, and if your lawyer is good, he or she will have prepared you to testify that way.

If you leave all of the work to your lawyer, he or she cannot be as effective as he or she otherwise can be.

Failing or refusing to tell your attorney the truth, to give your attorney the documentation and other information needed to have a clear picture of the case. The strengths and the weaknesses of your case. Hiding this information from your attorney, lying to your attorney, or hoping that nobody will find out the weaknesses in your history, your character, and your case can be fatal (but almost certainly damaging) to your case. Failing or refusing to read what your attorney needs you to read and to provide the documents your lawyer needs to prepare for your case will risk leaving holes in your case that the opposition and/or the court can exploit to your detriment.

Your trial will likely be both a physically and emotionally exhausting experience in the best of situations, so you need to prepare for trial as best you reasonably can. Do the needed work. A prepared litigant is a confident one. You need to have your exhibits, witnesses, and your testimony prepared for trial as best you reasonably can. A prepared attorney is a confident one as well.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

[1] shrewdly doesn’t mean “dishonestly”; it means that you testify truthfully without testifying in a manner that can inaccurately, misleadingly, deceptively, and unfairly be twisted and used against you.

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