Divorces are contentious by nature. Even if it's a mutual decision between spouses, family court dockets brim over with motions and trials in which parties aim to contest the smallest details in a range of matters - from child custody to alimony.
Plenary hearings have become a standard method of resolving disputes in New Jersey family courts. They are held when there are issues of fact and credibility that need to be made in order to reach a fair and accurate decision. Because family law outcomes are so impactful, courts are reluctant to make such important decisions based on mere documents and paperwork. Sometimes a judge may find it necessary to actually hear testimony at a plenary hearing to clarify facts, answer questions, and verify each party's credibility before making a decision.
A plenary hearing is similar to a trial. At a plenary hearing, both parties will be allowed the opportunity to present witnesses, evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make additional oral arguments. The hearing can be as short as an hour or last as long as a month. If you are granted one, proper preparation for a plenary hearing is important because the evidence presented will determine your child support or child custody obligations.
To properly prepare for a plenary hearing, you need the help of an experienced family law attorney. The Lento Law Firm has provided suggestions, with the help of an attorney, that you can follow to achieve a favorable outcome.
Gather Financial Documents
Although plenary hearings mainly focus on the intangibles, financial documents are still useful. When preparing for your hearing, you will want to obtain all documents relating to the following: your income, business records, tax returns, financial statements, expenditures, credit card statements, bank records, real property documents and other forms that indicate your financial standing.
Get Ready to Testify
If this is your first time in court, testifying may seem intimidating or scary. I conduct trial runs with my clients to make sure they're with questioning. The questions will encompass a broad range of issues, including your activities, your income, or perhaps your recollection of certain events. We'll go over the information you need to know as many times as we need to to ensure that you tell your side of the story with confidence, and establish credibility.
The outcome of a plenary hearing hinges on the amount of evidence you present. For example, if you're in the middle of a child support case, any evidence that your child spent more custodial time with you, for example, would turn the case in your favor.
Contact the Lento Law Firm
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare for a plenary hearing, contact the Lento Law Firm today. We know you have a lot at stake. You can contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.