In any child custody trial, the focus of the court is always on pursuing the outcome that will serve the best interests of the child. In order to make the right decisions about the needs of the child, or children involved, the courts need to carefully assess all of the information presented to them by the parties in the case, and their attorneys.
Often, to help convince the courts to see the case from the perspective of their client, child custody attorneys make use of specific tools, such as summations also known as closing statements. A closing statement helps to focus the court on the key points made during the course of the case, reminding them of why they should be making a decision that’s favorable to the client.
As closing statements are often the last chance a party or a child custody lawyer has to plead their case in a child custody trial, they can be extremely important to swaying the outcome of a case. Fortunately, experienced child custody attorneys know how to present the facts in a succinct, clear manner, to guide the courts in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are instances wherein a party in a child custody case may choose to avoid seeking the assistance of an attorney in their trial.
When a party chooses to represent themselves, for whatever reason, (although this is not recommended), it’s important for them to ensure they have the right guidance and insight to form an effective closing statement. Certainly if one is representing themselves it is better to get legal advice behind the scenes rather than none. This can be done from a legal consultant which my office gets hired to do from time to time.
Using Closing Statements in Child Custody Trials
On the surface, closing statements may seem simple enough. They’re similar to opening statements in a lot of ways, as both allow a party to address the judge directly, and highlight the key points that will, or have been made in an argument. Closing and opening statements both give the judge a framework for understanding what a party is attempting to achieve in a case, and how the evidence should be considered.
However, a closing statement can also include arguments and crucial points which help the party to make their point more effectively. When a party chooses to represent themselves in a child custody trial, it’s important for them to know how to position their closing statement effectively. After all, while arguments can be made about the evidence provided, there are clear rules to follow.
A child custody legal consultant, with experience in cases of this nature, can provide parties with insights into how to prepare their summation. For instance, they can remind clients that they are only permitted to discuss evidence admitted during the case in a summation. Additionally, information ruled inadmissible during the trial cannot be brought up for further consideration. While closing arguments can attempt to persuade the court to rule in one party’s favor over another, by following the story presented by the evidence, they still need to be formulated carefully.
Using Consultant Guidance for Summation Statements
In a trial where an individual chooses to be represented by an experienced attorney, that child custody lawyer will consistently attempt to present the case for their party in a way that highlights how they can support the best interests of the child. To do this, the attorney must think about how to present the evidence effectively, without simply paraphrasing documents and listing witnesses.
During a closing statement, the attorney generally attempts to provide a concise insight into the key points which occurred throughout the case. They focus on drawing attention to the most important pieces of evidence, and outline important questions posed during the trial and in the opening statement. While a child custody attorney consultant may not be able to create the closing statement and present it to the courts on the behalf of their client, they can offer guidance on what this summation should include, and exclude.
Consultants can provide advice on how the evidence and facts should be presented again during the closing statement, to demonstrate the credibility of the party. In some cases, an attorney may also recommend identifying and explaining problems within a case, so the other side’s attorney cannot use these points to enhance their own argument.
Using feedback and direction, a consulting attorney can help a client to represent their side of the argument in the most effective way possible. They can show the client how to highlight the key points of their case in an objective, yet informative way, to help convince the judge their argument is correct. However, it’s worth noting, even with this guidance, actually presenting a closing statement can be a lot more complex than it seems.
Effective summations need to appear as fluid and natural as possible, which is why most lawyers will avoid simply reading points from a sheet of paper. The best attorneys try to connect with the judge on an emotional level on the behalf of their clients, engaging them in a conversational manner. This can be difficult for an individual with no legal experience to do.
Making the Most of Closing Statements
In a child custody case, a closing statement is an excellent opportunity for a party or their lawyer to form a stronger connection with the court, and ensure a greater chance of success. Used correctly, a good summation can leave a positive impression on the court, and remind them of why they should side with the party in question.
The best way to ensure any closing statement is created and presented correctly, is to work with a child custody attorney who already has experience in the court room, and has interacted with judges and jurors before. However, in cases where individuals choose to represent themselves, having a consultant on-hand for guidance is certainly better than having no support at all. A consultant can sometimes help you to avoid making mistakes which could damage your case at the last hurdle.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can access the support of Mr. Darren Shapiro, either as a legal consultant or a direct child custody attorney, please reach out. You can get in touch via our online contact form, or call us to arrange an initial appoint for up to 30 minutes at no charge.