Van Schwab is our Attorney Family Law member. Van described contested cases in family law for us. He stated that contested cases are when both sides have different views of the issue, often centering around one party having control issues with the other party. They don’t like the terms of agreement offered and may end up going to trial. Contested cases often arise out of questions about undisclosed income, credibility of the submitted data, defining a party’s ability to pay (both quantifying and verifying income). It can also arise when the parties have lots of questions about the information.As far as custody issues, Van stated that sometimes people’s behavior can act against their best interests. He often finds himself in the position of offering advice to control their behavior in order to present a more favorable image.
Van stated that often taking the time to do the research on the involved parties can yield more information than he can get out of an interview. He made the statement that, in general, people don’t want to be seen or known by a judge and the best way to prevent that is to settle out of court. He also presented instances where clients have acted against the best advice they have been given or acted against court orders and did their own thing. He repeated that there isn’t any one answer that fits every case, each one is individual and has to be handled as such.
Remember Van Schwab when you hear your associates mention that they are looking for council relating to a family issue – divorce, custody, adoption.