Losing is always an option in Court. In every contested legal matter someone will lose. Of course this does not mean each case will receive an all or nothing ruling. However, even if a party wins nine issues out of ten, that one loss could be significant. What are some risks involved in litigation, and how can we minimize them?
Losing is Always and Option
So many litigants go into court convinced that victory is assured. Obviously, all the facts are on their side. Of course, the opposing party deserves to lose. Surely, justice will prevail as soon as the judge hears the testimony. It appears many parties in family law cases have never considered they might not win every issue. The reaction of these folks when they lose indicates they certainly never considered they might lose outright! Their lawyer failed to get it through to them that losing is always an option.
The Texas Family Code requires courts to make custody decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Likewise, the Code requires a fair division of the assets when it comes to dividing the marital estate. The reason losing is always an option is because there are at three different views on each of these issues.
First, is our client’s idea of what’s best for the kids and whats a fair division of the assets. Second is the opposing party’s ideas of the same issues. Finally, there is the perception of the court, which many litigants and lawyers seem to forget about.
The judge will review the pleadings and hear arguments of counsel. The parties will testify about their case. After that the judge will make a rulings he or she thinks are best for the kids and fair for the parties.
Obviously, the judge may consider some evidence more compelling than other evidence. The judge might completely ignore some factor that one or both parties think is critical. Sometimes the court doesn’t believe a witness, so that witness’ testimony goes nowhere. Other times the witness can be so unbelievable, he or she actually damages their case!
At any rate, losing is always an option because no one can predict what the judge may do. The judge may side with you. The judge might side with the other party in the suit. Then there’s the wild card; the judge unexpectedly rules in a way neither party expected.
Reducing the Risk of Losing
What can a litigant do to minimize the possibility of loss? Here are some recommendations.
Hire Competent Counsel
First,seek competent counsel. For this, we recommend a dedicated family law firm, rather than a jack-of-all-trades lawyer. Family law in Texas is complex and requires a depth of knowledge to be truly competent. This is not a field where a lawyer can merely tinker with the occasional case and be successful. Likewise, lawyers who practice types of law and merely include family law, often get crushed in family court. A “personal injury, DWI defense, probate, estate planning, criminal defense, and family law” attorney is in deep trouble against a dedicated family lawyer.
Hire a Low-Conflict Lawyer
Second, hire a lawyer who works to minimize conflict. Minimizing conflict means fewer hearings in court. That means the judge has less opportunities to rule against you. If the judge doesn’t get to make a ruling because the parties negotiated an agreement, then losing is avoided.
Avoiding conflict doesn’t mean a lawyer doesn’t advocate for you. Certainly we would never recommend rolling over for the other attorney. However, at Youngblood Law, PLLC, we have a proven track record of negotiating winning settlements for our clients. Good attorney-client communication means we know what is important to our clients. Then we negotiate with the other side to get what our client wants. So what if the other side gets what he or she wants, if our client wins his or her important issues? In negotiation we avoid losing.
Prioritize Your “Must Haves”
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we develop strategies to help achieve our clients’ goals. However, we recognize that each client has his or her unique goals. The only way we can strategize for our clients is to know what our clients truly want. This requires our clients to prioritize what they want.
Some clients are focused on more time with the kids. Others are driven by a need to retain more assets. Still others want a particular asset, but will give up others. Some clients do not have much to fight over, but just getting away from a toxic spouse has its own value.
Whatever the situation, we just need to know what our clients want so we can build a plan. Our plan will include options for how to achieve our clients’ goals while minimizing the risk of losing in court. For us, regular communication with clients helps keep us focused on the clients’ goals.
Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas law firm dedicated to family law. We help working people through divorce so they can start their new happily ever after. We also proudly offer the collaborative divorce process for our clients. This essay is intended for educational use only and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information, contact us at (817) 601-5345, find us on the web at youngblood-law.com.
Paul Youngblood #beforeyournext #lawfw #youngbloodlaw #collaborativedivorce #beingdivorceddoesntsuck