Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest, P.A.

Terrified to testify? Don't worry - your lawyer will prepare you

To testify means to bear witness.

When you testify, you are a witness to the facts and circumstances of the matter at hand, and you answer questions put to you by your lawyer and your spouse's lawyer. And when you testify, you are asked to speak the truth, under oath, to the best of your knowledge and ability.


Public speaking usually isn't at the top of anyone's fun list. And testifying in a deposition or in court is a unique type of public speaking. The prospect of testifying sets most people on edge. But you needn't worry. Assuming your lawyer is worth his or her salt, you'll be prepared.

You may not believe it, but life does get better after divorce

The short answer is yes - life does get better after divorce.

It's no secret that the end of a marriage is a significant stressor in life. Divorce rates up there with imprisonment and death as one of the most stressful experiences, as per the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale ... in fact, divorce is number two on the list.

"The more stressful the divorce," according to Psychology Today, "the more likely it is that illness will follow." That's a great reason to minimize conflict as much as possible as your divorce proceeds, as well as in finding a divorce lawyer at the outset who knows how to manage conflict. Effective conflict management can save time and money - and prevent or reduce stress.

The pitfalls of going 'pro se' as your own attorney

First the obvious points: Law school is three years of post-graduate education after the four-year college degree. Then there's the bar exam. And there's the matter of experience. This comes only by working "in the trenches," so to speak, representing real people facing real problems.

None of this is to say you can't go "pro se" as your own attorney.

Plenty of people do, or at least attempt to go it alone, at first. It's self-serving - on a lawyer's blog - to claim that people can't go it alone. With enough time and resources, many people are quite capable of representing themselves.

But be warned: There are pitfalls.

Should I tell my lawyer everything? Attorney-client privilege explained

"The attorney-client privilege may well be the pivotal element of the modern American lawyer's professional functions."

- Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Law Professor (b. 1929 - d. 2018)

This is the attorney-client privilege in a nutshell:

  • The secrets you tell your attorney stay secret

Keeping secrets secret is the heart of this long-held privilege. It means that you can tell your lawyer the truth, the whole truth ... and your lawyer cannot be compelled to testify against you or disclose confidential information.

How and why to leave your home during divorce

Your home is your anchor, the place you return after work to be with your family, to unwind, and to rest. Or maybe it's not that at all. If your relationship with your spouse has gone cold - worse, if home is a hostile and toxic environment - home is the last place you want to be.

Yet it's still your home.

What do you do in this situation? If you're contemplating divorce (or you're already going through it), you may feel that leaving home will have a negative impact on your case, that you will effectively forfeit your right to the home and everything in it, from the things you own to your children. The short answer is no - leaving home doesn't forfeit your rights in family law.

But should you actually start packing your things and leave?

Cut the cost of divorce with a bit of preparation and organization

Preparing for divorce ahead of time sounds a lot like preparing a will - no one wants to do it. But speaking from experience as a divorce lawyer, a little bit of preparation can go a long way.

Here's the major benefit: You will save time and money.

You've been served: What's next?

You've been served with papers.

This might cause a range of emotions, from fear to anxiety to outright anger - perhaps all of the above, especially if you're a first-timer. It's understandable. Once the initial shock wears off, though, hit the pause button.

We realize that's easy for us to say, since being served is more or less a daily occurrence for lawyers, but what's important, now that you've been served, is to get in front of the situation and take it one step at a time.

'Men's rights' in family law means more than gender

The concept of "men's rights" in marital law stems from the apparent historical preference of family courts to grant mothers custody rights over the children, relegating fathers to holidays and weekends.

But this is not an ironclad rule.

Simply being male does not necessarily doom you to holidays and weekends - or to a father's estrangement from his children. Practice marital law for any appreciable number of years, as we have, and you'll see that fathers have about as good a chance as mothers to continue to be involved in their children's lives after divorce or separation.

The devil is in the details, in other words.

Served with a domestic violence restraining order?

Being served with a domestic violence restraining order can feel a bit like being found guilty before proven innocent, flipping "innocent till proven guilty" on its head.

Restraining orders - variously known as no contact, stay away, protective, or injunctive orders, depending on the type of case and its context (criminal and/or family) - set in motion a chain of events over which you have little control, at least in the beginning of the case.

Without having had the opportunity to defend yourself and tell your side of the story, a restraining order assumes that you pose a risk of harm to another person, be it a spouse, a partner, and/or children.

The Baby Boomer's 'gray divorce'

If you can get over the rather negative connotation - "gray divorce" - you realize it's a useful term, at least in reference to the unique issues people confront when facing divorce at an older age.

Simply put, older people don't have the same range of concerns in divorce as younger people do.

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