If you are being dragged in the Family Courts, it’s time to learn how things work instead of wishing your lawyer could make it all go away! Fact of the matter is that if you’re committed to learning more about legal issues, the proactive approach and confidence is evident in your attitude, and may be a source of considerable distress to the other party. Also, it is the first step towards resolving and avoiding additional legal problems in the future. For starters, here are the 3 things Family Law experts often find men guilty of. Stay clear of the following: 1. Not Responding to Legal and Court Documents No, it will not just go away. It is more likely that your spouse will look for a tougher action in case of no response. And chances are that you won’t be able to work it out outside the court. Get a lawyer, bite the bullet and respond to the legal actions. Approximately 94% of all divorce cases in California lead on to final judgment. So if you fail to respond, the case won’t go away. In fact, inaction will result in a “default judgment” being entered against you. This simply means, everything your ex asked for, she will be granted. And you will find yourself paying alimony and child support on terms you didn’t even know existed. The California Family Law Court can be very unforgiving. And not responding to them can lead to severe consequences; you may end up losing some of your rights forever. 2. Getting Incorrect Legal Advice from Unqualified People There is something about a divorce that brings family members and friends together … to provide free legal advice. What you need to realize is that, in most cases, they will provide outdated information which may even be illegal! Family law specialists and divorce lawyers have often seen legal problems go from bad to worse when people decide to act on inaccurate and incomplete information provided by their loved ones. Fact is that the family law rules and guidelines are updated regularly, and the Court uses them as it sees fit. What was applicable to your friend’s divorce may not be applicable to yours. If you need information, or want to understand the legal implications of a particular action, the best person to ask is your lawyer. Take your time to learn and identify the facts of your case. 3. Signing Settlement Agreement without Consulting a Lawyer In their quest to get rid of the legal problems, many men fall easily for this one. They don’t do the due diligence to figure out whether the Marital Settlement Agreement is even beneficial for them (her lawyer came up with it, so chances are it isn’t!). Remember, the courts don’t care what an agreement really says, as long as both parties are in complete agreement to its content. Only your lawyer cares if you are getting a good deal. So don’t sign anything. Changing a divorce agreement AFTER it has been signed is very difficult and may be outright impossible.