What does a litigant need to bring up in divorce court? What will “help” in a divorce case?

Question of the week:  “Will (fill in the blank) help me in my divorce case?”

By M. J. Goodwin

A divorce client is overwhelmed by their situation.  The loss of the marriage is devastating alone.  If the loss is accompanied by the pain and betrayal of adultery or physical abuse, it is even more overwhelming.  As human beings, we strive to solve our problems any way we can.  Consequently, a divorce client tries to think of ways to improve their situation in Court.


I am asked varying versions of questions as to whether or not a specific piece of information or evidence will help in a divorce case.  The answer to that question varies as much as the specific pieces of information vary.  But the answer is typically that each situation is different and that the Judge is charged with viewing all of the evidence and the situation in its entirety in order to come up with a fair and equitable resolution for both litigants.


I can’t give a bright line, hard and fast rule as to whether or not a certain fact is the tipping point for any Judge.  I can assure the client that a cogent, relevant presentation is the best way to proceed.  For example, in a custody case, our presentation should track the factors that the law requires the Court to consider in determining custody.  If the certain fact the client wants to present fits into one of the statutory factors, then we should use it.  If it is irrelevant or ancient history, it is probably not helpful.


In determining what is helpful to a Court in making a decision, one should remember to leave the hurt feelings outside the Courtroom.  They serve no useful purpose and can be to a client’s detriment in certain situations.  It is important to remember that a court decision is not going to make the litigant feel better.  I explored that in a previous blog:  http://www.mjgoodwin.com/blog/family-court-will-help-person-feel-better/


If you would like me to evaluate your South Carolina divorce situation, call me at 864-375-0909 or email me at mj@mjgoodwin.com





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