Lawyers do a great job of presenting a client’s best position in court in obtaining their legal objective. Judges sort through it. Often sitting in the courtroom as a casual observer, it is difficult to tell which story is accurate and what evidence the court should rely on to decide the division of property (presumption being equal) and child custody (gender neutral). After sitting through hundreds of trials, the attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. use this blog to explore three highly effective visual aid strategies that often help courts.
In custody cases, for example (and some property dispute division), a picture or set of pictures is sometimes worth a thousand words—or a lot of testimony: a child may well act exactly how a litigant describes child, based on the child’s “learned” expected responses to each parent. But in reality, the child is more or less conforming to the need to please both parents. Thus, photos can be a great supplement to your legal story if a child is happily playing at the other parent’s house or as soon as he or she returns, despite testimony to the contrary.
Closely related is a calendar. Often parents perceive the other as absent or removed from child care, school events, activities, and similar activities. This occurs because of a psychological term called “confirmation bias.” We all suffer from this condition to some extent, which is how we perceive the world around us; our senses pick up on certain things and discount others. A calendar is a strong visual way to show the time a spouse was absent and/or involved with a child.
Finally, a good case for an unequal division of property or spousal maintenance (for a few years to obtain training or skills to be competitive in the job market) is showing the minimal costs of living against what could be awarded on divorce. This can be a bar graph or needed expenses against actual income—to show a vast and inequitable difference in living standard.
Ultimately, visual aids, such as pictures, a calendar, or a budget presented in clear terms can substantially supplement rather being a one dimensional testimony. Ultimately, all law is about telling a story—and this may help. This is why so many books have pictures and graphs. We hope this blog post helps.
This blog is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle all types of domestic cases around the State of Indiana. This blog is not intended as a solicitation or specific legal advice.