Top 10 Things To Do Before Filing a Family Law Case

We understand that your case may present difficult issues and decisions. We thank you for considering Brown Family Law Group, P.C. as your guide through this process. We offer the following information to help you prepare for filing a family law case. Each case offers unique issues, so please do not rely on this information as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please call or email our office to schedule an appointment.

Top 10 Things to Do Before Filing (or Responding to) a Family Law Case

1. Take down any offensive information from social networking sites. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and personal blogs are your public face. Photos and posts of you with others may inflame the situation. As well, mentions of drug/alcohol use, photos of you partying, and inappropriate content may be judicial admissions against you in a custody case.

2. Do not threaten the opposing party, harass them with texts or phone calls or tell them that you are about to file suit. Text messages, e-mails and phone records are discoverable material in a case, so be careful what you say.

3. Read the automatic orders of your court’s jurisdiction, which in California are found on the second page of the Summons. For example, California has orders that you must obey that include not transferring money from joint accounts, prohibit making purchases that are not for reasonable living expenses, or removing the children from the state.

4. Don’t coach your children about what to say or involve them in litigation. Our courts believe that children should be children and don’t need to be hauled into Court and the dysfunction that can come with litigation.

5. If CPS has contacted you, cooperate with the safety plan. However, consult an attorney prior to agreeing to the terms.

6. Avoid substance abuse. If you use/abuse drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, remember that drug tests can go back as far as 3 months for certain drugs.

7. Change all your passwords to e-mail or personal accounts. However, consult with an attorney before changing passwords to accounts that the opposing party needs to access, such as joint accounts.

8. Form a safety plan if you are in threat of domestic violence. Pack a bag, plan escape routes, call a friend and know a safe place where you (and your children, if you have them) can go until things settle down. We can also refer you to local resources if you need to leave your home quickly.

9. Understand that this is a major life change. It won’t be easy. However, it is a necessary step. Seek a licensed therapist or counselor if you need help during your transition through this significant life event.

10. Consult with an Attorney. Just as each family is unique, each family law case is unique. It is extremely beneficial to consult with an attorney before starting any court process. Brown Family Law Group, PC is proud to offer free and low-cost consultations. Please call or email our office today to schedule an appointment.

Adapted from Source: “Top 10 Things to Do Before You File a Family Case” by Natalie Gregg.