The Evidentiary Hearing is meant to give each party a set amount of time to present any evidence and testimony that will help the judge make their ruling. This is the closest thing to a trial in family court. Your attorney has spent time with you collecting a substantial amount of information and has determined what information would be the most effective for you to use. Each document is labeled with a letter or number so that it may be referenced quickly during the hearing. The judge, other party, and yourself will all have individual copies of each and every document to ensure fairness.
What is an Evidentiary Hearing?
Evidentiary hearings in regard to family law (particularly divorce), are deemed the same as a final hearing and are used to determine post-divorce arrangements. Family law courts may use this type of hearing in determining circumstances of divorces, spousal support agreements, and child(ren) custody following a divorce decree. It is an official examination of charges where anyone involved may or may not be sworn in under oath depending on the evidence presented and the judge presiding over the case. The best case that you could make involves a combination of testimony and concrete evidence based on a genuine want for you and any family members to enjoy the best potential outcome from the circumstances. A judge is not beyond providing help on the basis of sympathy and will do their best to guarantee that everyone involved will come out with the fairest awards and penalizations.
Proceedings of Evidentiary Hearings
Proceedings in evidentiary hearings are very comparable to a genuine trial. Each party gets an opportunity to introduce their case and the evidence that comes with it. The information presented is very close to something that you would find at a bona fid trial. Both parties are given a specific period of time to submit their evidence. Evidence allow in a family court includes witness statements, past finance records, and deposition testimonies. The judge then proceeds to go over the case and then presents their verdict just as they would at a final hearing.
How Long Does an Evidentiary Hearing Take?
The Evidentiary hearings are typically shorter than a lot of hearings; usually two hours or less the majority of the time. Each side receives an hour to submit their argument and suggest their arrangements. It might seem like a quick hearing, but unless there’s a complicated issue that needs to be reviewed further, an hour will likely be enough. Nevertheless, it is possible to ask for more time if either party thinks it is necessary.
Who Should Attend an Evidentiary Hearing?
Since these hearings are post-decree, any witnesses won’t typically be under oath. Regardless, it is a very important hearing as a lot of sensitive issues are being addressed. It’s vital to have an attorney that is experienced with family law represent you throughout an evidentiary hearing. A knowledgeable family law lawyer may offer the best chance for your requirements to be met. Any evidence submitted here needs to follow policies that would be present at a typical trial. Opinions are unwelcome, and any claims are required to be accompanied with facts when presented to the judge. However, a lot of judges are not beyond sympathy, and being sympathetic is vital here as the judge will hopefully rule in the best interests of each party. Even psychologists and counselors may be called upon to testify.
Getting Prepared for an Evidentiary Hearing
To appropriately prepare for an evidentiary hearing, it is valuable to research the court policies and minutes. Going to the hearing being well prepared and knowledgeable about what will transpire will be beneficial to your situation. Although your judge may be sympathetic to your circumstances, not comprehending court procedures will be advantageous to the other party. It is also essential to be wary of the policies in regard to what evidence may be submitted. Only particular forms of paper evidence may be presented, and it’s vital to be entirely aware of the policies the court has for them. It is also essential to keep track of any deadlines for any exchanges and filings. The court’s policies are always ones to make the process faster, and if there are any setbacks in processing because of you, it will usually cause issues in your case and will jeopardize your reputation. If you have any concerns regarding deadlines, policies, evidence, etc., you need to ask for the counsel of a family law lawyer. A solid case is vital for the sensitive matters disclosed in these types of hearings. In addition, it is crucial to not let your emotions get the best of you. These hearings are intended to go over the evidence and even though emotions will be there, evidence motivated merely by emotion will most likely not be examined. In cases of family law, the outcome needs to be based on the benefit of each party and the dependents involved.
Evidentiary Hearings and Children
If a child is at the hearing, there could be a court-assigned parent moderator also present to make sure that each party is following any rules set by the court. They’ll also guarantee that the hearing is pleasant for the child and that they won’t be too emotionally distressed by the events that take place at the hearing room. If one party isn’t pleased with the parent moderator, they may ask for another one. An evidentiary hearing is comparable to a final hearing and is used to determine final arrangements like legal decision making, spousal support, and additional matters concerning divorce. They come after the divorce decree and is moderated by a judge just like a normal trial. Depending on the judge and the proposed evidence, people might or might not be sworn in under oath. This hearing is important for you and your dependent’s future and depends on the evidence you present in your case. It is essential to make sure that you are suitably prepared for what is about to happen, and that you’ve talked with your attorney what action for you to take during the hearing. At this point, you are familiar with where to go, how to dress, and which hand to raise as you commit to telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However, it’s very likely that the other party will not have many nice things to say about you, and they will have the opportunity to take the stand at some point during the hearing. They will want to expose any flaws they believe you possess, so you must be prepared to explain your actions. If you have been fortunate to have legal counsel up to this point, you will learn quickly how useful a lawyer can be for your case. In some cases, the other party will overstep a boundary or attempt to bring up irrelevant information, and it is your attorney’s goal to prevent the other side from doing this. The term “objection” will more than likely be used a number of times, depending on how the other party presents their evidence and testimony.
Sitting quietly in a wood paneled room as someone close to you makes upsetting comments is no easy feat. Regardless of how long the hearing is set for, it may seem to last an eternity when you may not speak your mind unfiltered. When the hearing is over the judge will likely take the matter under advisement, meaning that they will need more time to determine what the appropriate outcome should be. Sometimes, the judge will issue what are called “temporary orders,” which are put in place at the judge’s discretion and are to be followed until a “final minute entry” is signed and filed with the clerk. However, temporary orders may also be issued prior to the evidentiary hearing if either party files a “Petition for Temporary Orders.” Often times, neither party will be completely satisfied with the temporary orders, as it is simply designed to keep the peace in the interim.
Speak With an Evidentiary Hearing Lawyer in Phoenix or Scottsdale
You also need to talk with your family law attorney the best way to go about the case and how you should testify. Your attorney needs to already have served as an attorney in cases like yours before and should be and always be an available source if you may have any comments, questions, or concerns. If you are thinking about filing for divorce and want to speak with a divorce attorney, please give us a call at (480) 999-0800 or fill out our form. We know how hard divorces are, particularly if there are child(ren) or higher valued assets involved. Don’t go it alone, get a hold of us today!
Moshier Family Law is your first choice for when you need the best divorce lawyers in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. Our knowledgeable Arizona family law attorneys will work with you to get you the best possible outcome of your divorce. We are a family law firm you can trust to represent you throughout the process, so you move on with your life. Call us today for an initial consultation!
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