We Identify the Evidence Early On
We stress the importance of information-gathering at the onset of our work in every case. We have found that proactively gathering and organizing information, on our own, without a court order or a request by anyone, helps us have superior case analysis. Early information-gathering gives our clients an advantage for identifying and requesting more data, settlement offers and negotiation, and trial preparation. In many cases, we are able to obtain very favorable settlements or favorable court rulings based solely on the hard work we do with our clients by organizing our evidence as soon as possible. Our attorneys have taught these concepts to other attorneys due to our insight and perspective into the trial preparation process.
Sometimes We Have to Push the Other Side to Produce Evidence
However, there are some cases where we need information from someone else: either the opposing party or a third party. In many cases, the opposing party does not produce needed material, even when they are legally required to do so. Often, we can get the judge involved and force them to produce because we can show that we have clean hands and have produced everything while they are obstructing progress in the case through bad behavior. Involving the judge takes time and can cause case delays, so in every circumstance, we try to pause and ask, "How bad do we really need this?" to evaluate whether the cost of pursuing the information will outweigh the benefit.
You May Be Temporarily Inconvenienced Due to the Other Side's Delay
There are circumstances where we should stop case progress and even wait to have a hearing until the other side has appropriately participated in the exchange of information. Most of those situations are in cases where the other side is making a false or exaggerated claim and refusing to produce any evidence pertaining to their claim. The most difficult of those circumstances is when our client lives in another state or country. We have had clients make plans to travel from long distances for hearings, only to arrive and learn that the opposing party and their lawyer have been misleading about their evidence. Unfortunately, if we choose to proceed with a hearing in those cases, the other side will sit on the witness stand and offer bad evidence because they know they did not produce the requested evidence that would show that they are wrong.
Family law is notorious for bad behavior. Your opponent may be willing to see what they can get away with simply to run up your costs of preparation and travel to hearings that will be delayed due to their misconduct. You should work with your attorney to assess whether you are ready to have the hearing with what you have or if you should wait and work with the judge to force the other side to produce evidence. If you proceed with the hearing without everything you need, you may receive an unfavorable ruling from the judge simply because you did not have the information the other side should have produced.