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PLM Family Law

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How to act during a family law proceeding

Ideally, couples in North Dakota will be able to settle a divorce through mediation as opposed to litigation. However, those who are unable to agree on issues such as how to allocate assets or parenting time may need a judge to help them do so. There are many steps that a person can take to maximize the odds of obtaining a favorable ruling from a family law judge.

For example, individuals are encouraged to remain calm and polite during a proceeding. Those who have questions about what is happening should whisper them to their attorneys or write them down. An attorney may then ask for a short recess so that those questions or concerns can be addressed. Otherwise, a person should only speak when spoken to by the judge.

Individuals should obtain copies of witness lists or other records that may be relevant in a given case. This ensures that information is available to be introduced at a hearing in the event that a legal representative forgets to obtain it or bring it to court. Ideally, those who testify at a court hearing will be as honest as possible. Generally speaking, a judge will be more sympathetic to those who admit their mistakes as opposed to those who try to lie about them.

Ending a marriage through litigation may be a person’s best chance of obtaining a favorable divorce settlement. A divorce attorney may be able to help a person organize financial records or other evidence to help solidify an individual’s negotiating position. Legal counsel may also help those who are attempting to challenge the terms of any agreement that was made before or during the marriage. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might be invalid if it was signed under duress or encouraged illegal activity.