It happens more often than you might think – we family law attorneys will receive a phone call from a potential client who needs us to represent them at their court hearing.
When is the caller’s court hearing? It’s tomorrow. Or sometimes it is coming up in only a few days.
Time is running out and the caller has come to the realization that he or she may need an attorney to help them after all.
Here is a golden piece of family law advice: don’t let this happen to you!
Don’t Wait! Get Your Raleigh Divorce Attorney Early
This article examines some reasons why you should avoid waiting until the last minute and instead seek the assistance of an attorney right away after you have been served with a complaint.
Give Your Attorney a Chance to Prepare Your Case
It may be hard to believe, but your attorney is not a magician! Hiring an attorney at the last minute with little to no time to prepare your case prior to a hearing makes things more difficult than they have to be both for you and for your attorney (and sometimes impossible).
A time crunch can put you and your attorney at a disadvantage for several reasons.
For one thing, it takes time (at least several weeks if not months) to prepare a case and create the best presentation possible. Your attorney has to examine all facts available including details of your testimony, documentation, and other pieces of evidence in order to figure out the best way to present your side of the story to the Judge. Your attorney will evaluate the strengths of your case and find ways to obtain evidence you may need to emphasize these strengths. He or she will select the best pieces of evidence and organize them in the most effective manner possible.
An Attorney Can Prepare Defend Against Your Spouses Attorney
Also, your attorney has to figure out what evidence the other side may use against you and how to best defend against it. Developing a solid defense strategy takes time and planning.
For example, if you have had some difficulty with alcohol abuse in the past, and you are going to court against your spouse or child’s parent for a child custody hearing, it is very likely that your alcohol abuse may be used against you by the other side.
However, if you brought your own attorney into the game early on, he or she could have advised you to start attending AA meetings and counseling regularly for the weeks leading up to the custody hearing so that you could show the Judge you are serious about addressing your issues and recovering. There are many other pieces of advice your attorney can give you on how to improve weak points in your case, and more often than not this advice will be more effective and possible to achieve if accomplished early on in the process of your court case rather than at the last minute.
A Divorce Attorney Will Make Sure Nothing is Overlooked
Another major problem with waiting to find an attorney is that you may find yourself in violation or default of rules you weren’t even aware existed, and potentially in trouble with the Court before you even get to the courtroom.
You may have also prejudiced yourself by neglecting to respond to certain paperwork or make other necessary moves before your time to do so expired.
The law is a complicated subject, and there are many rules and procedures that someone who is not an attorney would have a hard time understanding. In the realm of family law, in addition to the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, a litigant needs to be aware of and work within the local family court rules established by the county in which the case is pending. The rules vary by county and can often be very complicated.
In Wake County, depending on what type of claim/claims is/are pending, there are certain required documents that must be completed and filed by a certain deadline. If you do not comply with the local rules, the Judge can potentially impose sanctions against you.
Contact a Member of Our Divorce Law Firm for Your Case
In sum, there are countless reasons why you should not wait until the last minute to find an attorney to assist you with your case. Although legal issues can be very stressful and painful, trying to avoid dealing with them until the very end is not going to work in your favor.
If you need help with a family law issue, don’t wait until it is too late – call The Doyle Law Group, P.A. today at (919) 301-8843 to schedule an appointment to speak to one of our knowledgeable Raleigh divorce attorneys.
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