“Family law is different.” This common misstatement permeates family courts throughout the United States. In reality, family law is a variety of civil litigation subject to general civil procedural and evidentiary rules, along with special family-law rules in some instances, and should not be viewed through a different prism. Despite the lax nature of some family-law courts, the prepared family lawyer should treat family-law cases as if they were the same as any other form of civil litigation. Do not assume that rules of evidence will be relaxed or that normal civil procedural principles will not be applied. The careful family litigator remembers certain cardinal rules, including those listed here.
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