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5 tips to prepare your family during a legal battle

>> Oct 22, 2018

Family legal struggles can put a great deal of pressure on a family and cause problems which were not anticipated by any of you in the beginning. However, you can easily and simply prepare your family for the coming struggles and make all of your more resilient and more closely bonded to each other than before.
1. State Your Final Goals to the Entire Group

If this is a divorce or custody case, get both partners in the same room with all of the children and grandparents. This is a family moment. Have someone write down what each partner's goals are. If children above the age of 8 are involved in the legal battle (such as a custody case or a witness deposition), their goals should be collected, as well.

This will give each partner and other family members time to think about what their final end goals actually are. This type of clarification can be really revealing, especially if someone is wrapped up in the emotion of the moment and is not thinking about what their true feelings are concerning the future.

State your end goals, the final results that you want, in front of your entire family. This is also helpful so that each partner is aware of the priorities of the other (something which is often never fully communicated). By getting the whole family involved, children and grandparents can speak up if they have questions or if they want to challenge an opinion. More information is gathered this way.

2. Research the Different Steps of the Process and Keep Them On the Wall

It will help every member of your family if they know what to expect and when to expect it. Things like attorney consultation, depositions, hearings, and testimonials need to be clearly defined and put on the wall chart. Anything involving more than one person should be made wider on the chart to accommodate varying dates. All specific dates and times should be put on the wall chart.

This way, your entire extended family can be aware of what is going on at all times. They also know when to ask questions and find out what happened at various meetings.

3. Focus on Simplicity and Clarity Above Turbulent Emotions

Always define things for your family in as simple terms as possible. Reduce the situation down to the level at which a seven-year-old could understand it. Everyone's feelings and emotions absolutely matter, but these can shift throughout the day. By making terms and descriptions as simple as possible, you are keeping the focus on the bigger picture, not on smaller details which can change throughout this process.

In addition to simplicity, clarity is really important, as well. One of the things which stress children and inexperienced adults out the most is not knowing what is happening now or what is going to happen in the near future. Keep everyone updated as you go along, speaking openly and honestly to the entire household after every step of the process, and be clear about what you think and feel, stating everything in as neutral terms as possible.

4. Introduce Your Entire Family to Every Member of Your Legal Team

Another big stressor for children are not knowing (or feeling that they have a say with) some of the big, important people at their table. Introduce everyone. Tell your kids a little bit about every member of your legal team. Make sure that everyone is friendly and familiar with everyone else. Attorneys never hate each other, so you can rest assured that all parties on the professional front will be friendly and kind with each other. This will set a great example for your children, teens, and the other members of your family when you all get together over the negotiation table or when you are preparing for a criminal trial. It helps the situation an enormous amount if everyone has faith in everyone else.

Keep regular contact between your family and your legal team. It does not have to be a twice-weekly occurrence or anything, but weekly or bi-weekly contact is a nice rhythm so that everyone feels involved with the process. Since everyone is different, it is helpful that all of your family has personal contact with every member of your legal help. That way, when questions want to be asked, someone can pick their favorite contact to ask. Professionals may be good at their jobs, but they can also seem intimidating. At Foyle, we always make everyone feel included and at home in our offices.

A third reason to do this is that kids often feel more comfortable being bold around friendly negotiators more than family members whose opinion they already know or can guess. This is a great way to keep tabs on how much this process is creating interest or stress in your children or teenagers.

5. Become Educated on What is Important to the Key Players

You should also be able to answer some of your family's questions yourself. This means becoming educated on what is important and to whom it is important. Here are some examples to guide you:

In a criminal case involving a convict being released on bail, the judge in bond court cares about things like a flight risk, ties to the community, dependents such as a spouse and kids who are financially in need of the inmate's assistance, and a job waiting for them when they get out.

In a custody hearing, the judge or arbitrator will care about the evidence presented to show how stable and competent each parent is. Custody is more likely to be shared if both parents are steady, capable people.

When you are looking for a law office, you should consult with Foyle Legal. We know that this can be a difficult time for you and we want to make it as simple and stress-free as possible, along with providing you with excellent legal services. If you have any questions, call us today or schedule an appointment to come see us in person.

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