In every state family law courts have a strict set of "rules," which describe the procedure courts follow in a family law cases. If these rules are broken there can be serious consequences.
These rules govern things like the types and content of documents that can (or must) be filed, the various deadlines that attorneys (and self-represented litigants!) must comply with, etc.
If you or your attorney do not adhere by these rules you could suffer some really serious consequences for both yourself and your family for the rest of your life.
I had a case recently where the attorney did not follow the rules and it caused her client to suffer some serious consequences in her case. We were litigating a really hotly contested divorce case that had been going on for about a year. Some of the issues in dispute were child custody, division of property, parenting time and child support. However, but the biggest bone of contention was spousal maintenance and attorney’s fees.
I represented the husband in this case and the wife was making claims for attorney fees and requesting spousal support in the amount of thousands over a period of 10 years. Before the trial the parents were able to work out most issues with child custody and parenting time
It had come to the attention of the judge that the wife and her attorney had not complied with the family rules of Arizona procedure. What they failed to do in a timely manner was file an ‘affadavit of financial information’ which is a form that anyone requesting child support, spousal support, attorney fees, etc must fill out and submit. They did not file it by the date that the rules had set. The judge was not happy and asked me at the end of the trial if I wanted to file a motion since they did not follow the rules of procedure.
So I filed a motion for the court to dismiss the claim of spousal maintenance and attorney fees against my client. The judge asked the other party was there any legal reason that they did not file on time.
At this time the judge is taking it under consideration but I have no reason to doubt that the claims will be dismissed.
So by not following simple rules as put down by the Arizona family law rules, the wife may not get spousal support that she may have otherwise received.
Take the time to understand the procedural requirements of your family law court in your State. You can't win the game if you don't know the rules!