Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

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How to Prepare for Your Custody Case

by | Sep 16, 2020 | Boundaries, Divorce, Emotional Abuse, Expert Interviews, Flying Free Podcast, Learning | 0 comments

What if I lose my kids? How can I stand up for myself in the process of divorce when my husband seems to hold all the cards? How will I keep it together as I climb this ladder out of hell? These questions haunt women in abusive marriages who want to escape. They wonder how to even begin to prepare for a custody case.

There is hope and there are answers.

In this episode, Wendy Hernandez, a Phoenix family law attorney, divorce coach, founder of the Hernandez Family Law Firm, and creator of the Command the Courtroom YouTube channel and online programs, covers several critical topics for divorcing women, including:

  • Why the fear of losing your kids is based on lies/misconceptions
  • The kind of documentation and questions you should have, before or while you are using a lawyer (including how to find a good one or deal with a bad one).
  • How EMPOWERING divorce can be as you set boundaries for a NEW life…of HOPE!

Having tried over 1,000 cases during her 24 years as a litigator, Wendy is a courtroom warrior who has tackled every type of family law matter — from divorce to child custody and everything in between. Sharing secrets learned from the country’s top law professors at the University of Notre Dame Law School and during her battles on the family law front lines, Wendy is passionate about helping not only her clients, but also those representing themselves, to feel competent, confident and comfortable in the courtroom.

Here are links to the resources mentioned in this episode:

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How to Prepare for Your Custody Case [Transcript]

Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of Flyingfreenow.com, and you’re listening to the Flying Free Podcast,
a support resource for women of faith looking for hope and healing from hidden emotional and
spiritual abuse.

NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 84 of the Flying Free Podcast! Today I am excited to
introduce you to Wendy Hernandez. She is a Phoenix family law attorney. She is a divorce
coach, founder of the Hernandez Family Law Firm, and creator of this amazing YouTube
channel that I hope all of you will go check out. It’s called Command the Courtroom. She’s
got bazillions of videos there on every subject you could imagine when you are going to file
for divorce, and you are hoping to get as much custody of your kids as you want. Plus, she
has online programs that we are going to talk about at the end after you’ve heard all the
great things that she has to share in this podcast episode. Wendy is coming at this with a
lot of experience. She has tried over a thousand cases during her 24 years as a litigator
tackling every type of family law matter from divorce to child custody and everything in
between. I love how she not only helps her clients but also helps women who are
representing themselves to feel competent, confident, and comfortable in the court room.
So welcome, Wendy.

WENDY: Thank you, Natalie. That was a wonderful introduction. I’m happy to be here.

NATALIE: I’m so happy to have you. I found you a few years ago when I was in the middle
of my own custody case, and your videos helped to calm my fears. From the standpoint of
someone who doesn’t know anything about court, my only experience was what I had seen
on TV and in the movies. It just felt so scary. Plus, divorce feels scary. Let me tell you this.
Our audience is women of faith who are in emotionally and spiritually abusive
relationships. A lot of these women have been kind of beaten down for many years, and
they don’t feel good about themselves. The thought of having to haul themselves up, go to
court, and face all the things that they have been facing the past years but do it in front of a
judge, in front of two attorneys, and also have their soon-to-be-ex sitting there while they
are fighting for the most important thing in their life – which is their children – that’s when
it gets really scary. I just wanted to let you know that because the kind of questions I will be
asking you are from women coming from that type of perspective.

WENDY: I hope I can help. I’m sure I’ll be able to.

NATALIE: Yeah, I think so too. Another of their concerns is that it’s not that they don’t want
their children to have a relationship with their father, it’s just that because of the dad’s
propensity to be emotionally abusive, they don’t want to leave their children alone with
him. So, they are scared about sharing custody because they are afraid of what their
children will go through if they are not present as a buffer. Then there is this added layer
for my audience because many of these women are also being threatened by their friends,
family, and church support system (because these are women of faith) that they aren’t
going to support them if the file for divorce because divorce is not allowed for a lot of
these women. I’ve even known women who have had friends and family get up in court and
testify on behalf of the abusive husband, which makes the mother seem crazy and selfish
(and she’s already been told that she is for so many years.) It’s just this huge trigger, and
some of them feel pretty hysterical thinking, “This is never going to work! I’m never going to
get my kids!” Some people also have this irrational belief that they are going to lose their
kids and not be able to see them at all. In your experience, how common is that?

WENDY: In my experience it really takes a lot for a person to lose their children. My
experience is that judges really want both parents involved to the fullest extent possible. It
takes severe drug abuse, severe mental health issues that are not being treated, severe
domestic violence on either side of the parties, maybe incarceration. These are the types of
things a court is going to want to see before a judge literally disallows contact between one
parent and the children. I’ve had cases where all those things were present – not the
incarceration – but the mental health issues, the domestic violence, and the substance
abuse issues. Even in that case the judge said, “I think the children need both parents, and
these factors are present, but I’m going to do everything that I can to make it possible.” So,
I’m thinking for your audience, Natalie, they are women of faith. I don’t know how often all
these issues are present or that they are the ones who are suffering from the drug abuse –
and it could be possible. But even with those things present, if you are taking steps to
make it better, if you are seeking rehab or something like that – especially with mental
health issues because these are present in a lot of cases especially if you are a victim of
abuse. But if you are taking care of the business and getting treatment and following your
doctor’s recommendations, then I think it’s difficult for a judge to rip custody away 100%.
Hopefully, that alleviates some fears on the parts of your viewers. The fears are real, and I
understand where they are coming from because you are so used to being victimized by
your ex or soon-to-be-ex. Gaslighting has probably happened and they’ve led you to
believe that you are this person that you really are not. So, I understand where the fear is
coming from, but I also want to say that you must re-center, examine, and look within and
say, “Who am I really?” Once they are firm, which may take some time after months or years
of abuse, then you have to proceed knowing who you are, knowing your truth, and knowing
that if you show this truth to the court that it will probably be okay.

NATALIE: Right. That’s good. What do you see is the biggest mistake that women – I was
going to say people but since my audience is women – what do you think is the biggest
mistake that women in this position make when they are facing a custody battle? And how
can they avoid that mistake?

WENDY: I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see being made is allowing the bullying
to continue and feeling afraid that if you are standing up for yourself that you are not being
a good person. Just because you are making a stand, finally, for the first time in forever,
doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It means that you are fighting for your life first
and fighting for your children second. Just because you are being strong doesn’t mean that
you are bad or that you are going to go to hell. It doesn’t mean that. It means that you are
standing up for your rights as a human. I see women really living into their fear instead of
living into who they really are. That’s the problem. So, walking into divorce is terrifying. It’s
terrifying for me and I’ve never been through a divorce, but I go through a divorce every
time I help a client go through a divorce, and it’s scary for me. So, I understand that when
you come from this place of fear how it is a big step to go to this place of strength. But it
doesn’t happen all at once. It starts with little steps every day, or every time you talk to your
attorney, or every time you go to prepare your case. With each little step you progressively
come this person that you already are and that you have the potential to be. But you must
live into that instead of living from the past or living in the past, which is fear. I think being
strong, not allowing yourself to be bullied, having firm boundaries with the ex, setting those
boundaries, communicating those boundaries in a constructive way, rising above the
unhealthy communication that will happen and that does happen, and communicating as
to the issues. To get back to your question…I’m sorry that was a long-winded answer…

NATALIE: No, this is great.

WENDY: I think the mistake is living in fear instead of stepping into strength and allowing
that abuse to continue to happen.

NATALIE: What if…here is the opposite idea that I have seen: Sometimes what happens is
they become empowered enough to get out of the relationship and to file for divorce, and
there is a lot of pent up anger over what has happened to them as they look back. Now
they feel like they are in a cat fight. Now they are saying their truth – they are speaking their
truth, but sometimes it can feel like they are vomiting. I’m wondering, as far as demeanor in
court or even working with your attorney, how can they temper those feelings so that they
don’t come across as hysterical or defensive or cutthroat. Like, “Now I’ve got to get my kids
back and my husband can’t have them at all. He’s going to ruin their lives.” I know that can
kind of backfire on them as well. Can you talk about that a bit?

WENDY: Yes. First, when someone is going through a divorce or any huge traumatic
experience, they need to process those feelings – there are stages of grief – and the place
to process them is not on the stand in the courtroom at your custody trial.

NATALIE: Right!

WENDY: It’s not. A lot of what I do is counseling with my clients, but I’m not a therapist. I
always tell my ladies if you can get a therapist, that would be helpful. If you can get a
counselor, that would be helpful. If you’re not able to do that, maybe someone from the
church, a clergy member. Someone who can counsel you and help you process those
feelings. A lot of what happened during the relationship is probably going to be relevant
during the divorce and custody trial. The judge must look at the best interest of the
children. If there was abuse happening, whether it was financial, emotional, or physical, the
judge is going to want to hear about that. It’s a fine line between vomiting in front of the
judge but also sharing with the judge the information that the judge absolutely needs to
know. I think emotion is important because there is a disconnect when women go on the
stand and they seem like there is no emotion, yet they are saying this abuse happened. It
doesn’t add up to the judge. So, some level of emotion is appropriate but falling apart on
the stand probably is not helpful. So, they must balance that. I think the counseling prior to
court happening and maybe working with someone like a divorce coach or something like
that would be helpful. But when you are on the stand, talk about the facts and refer to the
documentation if there is any. Text messages and emails are powerful documentation. I’ve
heard judges say that a person with the most documentation wins. That’s not always the
case, but documentation is great. As much as possible, remove the raw emotion from it.
When you get out of a divorce, you are raw and hurt. Maybe the further away that leaving
the relationship gets, the emotion is there, but it is less raw. Does that help at all?

NATALIE: Yes. It does. Speaking of documentation, the women who are in this audience,
some have also dealt with physical abuse, but most of them have dealt with mainly
emotional and spiritual abuse, where the Bible is kind of weaponized against them to
control them. There’s a lot of lying, gaslighting. They are told things didn’t happen that did
or did happen that didn’t. They are a little bit sideways as far as what’s real and what isn’t. A
lot of them ask me, “What documentation do I have? I wish my husband would hit me so
that I would have something to show. But he would never hit me. He’s never hit the kids.
He just criticizes us.” I won’t go into all of it. But what kind of documentation can those
women put together to show or prove emotional abuse in court?

WENDY: It’s difficult. In that situation, the best documentation that they are going to get is
their own documentation that they create as this is happening. Or if they are out and it’s
no longer happening, sitting down and writing about it so if they end up in court, at that
time, they have a good memory about what happened because it’s hard for me to
remember what happened last week or what my husband said to me last week. You know?
So, if they can write it all down it helps keep it fresh. That is something that they can refer
to. Also, I think the writing is good at helping them process things and with the grieving
process. I don’t want anybody to think if you don’t have any documentation that you are
totally dead in the water. That’s not what I’m saying at all. If you have documentation that is
good. But if you don’t, that’s okay because documentation is not the only evidence that a
judge considers at trial. Other types of evidence are witness testimony. When evaluating a
witness, a judge is going to determine how credible that person is. For example, one of the
things a judge will look at in deciding credibility is a witness’s ability to remember important
details. So, this is what I’m saying with the journaling. That will help. I personally think when
a witness can get on the stand and they remember the shirt that their ex was wearing,
where they were standing in the kitchen when this happened, or where their children were
– these little details – to me that shows that a person is more credible as opposed to just
kind of glossing over things.

NATALIE: Okay. Along those lines, one of the things I did was that for two years before I
filed, I started documenting all the things that he would say and do. It helped me to see
patterns. A lot of Christian women, there is this verse in the Bible that says don’t keep a
record of wrongs. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. So, a lot of those women will say,
“I can’t keep a record of wrongs.” They won’t write things down and they will purposefully
go into…their brain will go into shut down mode and they won’t remember a lot of stuff. So,
I tell them to write stuff down, every little detail they can, for as long as they can before
they file for divorce. But I did this, and what I found is that there are patterns of behavior.
So, I put together…I never ended up going to court. We ended up solving it in mediation.
But my document had the five or six main patterns of behavior along with a few examples.
That’s what I brought to mediation, and that was helpful. The other thing I was thinking that
I can show is lack of response to emails or lack of response to everything. So that’s what
I’ve been saving. I’m just giving this for those of you who are listening as an idea. You can
also document things that are not happening that should be happening – like he didn’t
show up for something that he was supposed to, he didn’t keep a commitment, or those
kind of negligent kinds of things. He’s not communicating with you when you are talking
back and forth on Our Family Wizard about who’s going to pick up the kids. But I feel like it
is more of a stretch for those of us who are dealing with more emotional abuse to find
those substantial, obvious, glaring examples of issues.

WENDY: I agree, and I love what you did, Natalie. I’ve had clients do something similar to
that, creating charts for me with examples. I think that’s helpful and it would be helpful to
the court. Talking about the failure to respond by the husband or the ex, that is big. I will
tell you that many years ago I represented the husband in a case like this that we’re talking
about. He didn’t respond. That is exactly what the mother used against him, and that is
exactly what won her sole custody of her children because the court said joint custody
requires co-parenting, and the father has shown a failure to co-parent by his inability or
unwillingness to participate, so therefore he’s not getting joint custody. That is powerful to
show the lack of what is happening, the rude responses that are happening, or not
showing up. Someone who is saying, “I want all this parenting time. I want equal time.” Yet
when they get it or they get it during temporary orders, they’re not exercising it or making
those phone calls when they are scheduled or the Skype calls. So those are good points
that you brought up, Natalie.

NATALIE: Alright. So, it sounds like there is hope then. That was one of my questions. Is
there hope for women who are just dealing with emotional abuse that they can get as
much time as possible with their kids? Should they just resign themselves to just getting
50/50, or is there hope that they can get more than that? What are you seeing across the
board?

WENDY: I don’t think that anybody should resign themselves to 50/50 if they don’t think
that it is in the best interest of their children. By the same token (and you’ve already
mentioned this), I think it comes across as very unreasonable if someone were to go into
court and say, “I want dad to have zero time,” because they judge would then think you are
crazy. Maybe that is what you think, but unless there is something crazy happening that is
probably not going to happen. You must balance what you want against what the law says
because in these cases people don’t usually get 100% of what they want. That is part of the
reason divorce is difficult. So, should people give up hope? I don’t think they should. Each
case is different. You must look at the facts of your case and decide what is best for your
children in view of the circumstances. If you have a husband who is married to his work
and working all the time and abusive on top of that, that may be a good reason to ask for
every other weekend. It’s not one size fits all on these cases, and you must look at the facts.
There is always a way. You can be creative enough to make a good faith argument to the
judge about what you think is best for your children. If someone is telling you that you
can’t, then I don’t think they are thinking outside the box or being creative enough. That’s
my thought on that.

NATALIE: Okay. A little bit ago you mentioned that you have your clients fill out forms that
will help them to document things. I notice that you have a course…I think you have more
than one course that is available. Plus, you do individual divorce coaching?

WENDY: I do, yes.

NATALIE: Why don’t you…I was going to talk about this at the end, but I decided to talk
about it right now. That would have been helpful for me to have been able to have
someone guide me through. I had to make this up as I went along. My personality is more
like, “I can do this,” and I’m constantly thinking about it. But a lot of the women I work with
are like, dead in the water. They are so exhausted and wiped out. They don’t have the
emotional or brain bandwidth to do this stuff on their own. They need that kind of extra
guidance. So, tell us more about what you would offer to a coaching client versus what you
offer in your courses?

WENDY: I have several courses. The one that’s been popular is the 21-Day Child Custody
Challenge
. What I do is that I lead my client or the people taking the courses on the same
journey that I go through when I get a case and the steps that I take to resolve the case.
The 21-Day Challenge only covers through a certain point. But each day there is a little
video that I share with them and a prompt. The amount of time to consume each day’s
content is less than ten minutes. But the real work is for the person who has the custody
case or the divorce. Really, it will require work. But I am guiding them and telling them,
“Step one, this is what you do. Step two, this is what you do. Step three, this is what you
do.” So, with the 21-Day Challenge, we do that for 21 days.

NATALIE: That sounds like it would save you money even if you were working with your
own attorney because you would already have a lot of your ducks in a row.

WENDY: Yes. There have been a lot of people who have attorneys who have taken these
courses, and they tell me their attorneys were like, “Bless you,” because they have all their,
like you said, ducks in a row. They are gathering the information. They are organizing the
information. Then they put it together and give it to the attorney. This saves a lot of money
because there is nothing that costs more money than me getting a backpack full of crap
that I must go through and figure out what it is.

NATALIE: Yep.

WENDY: So, I have the 21-Day Challenge, and I also have…The other course I really like to
promote is the Trial Prep Bootcamp. In that I teach people what to expect in the courtroom
at trial: the order of things, who testifies first, what is going to happen, cross-examination,
direct examination. Nobody is going to be a lawyer after they take these classes, but they
are going to know what to expect, which is one step ahead of where most people are when
they get into this process especially when they are alone.

NATALIE: Yes.

WENDY: As far as the divorce coaching, really, I am doing the same thing, but I am doing it
in a one-on-one basis with people. We are diving into the specifics of their case. With the
courses, they are very general. But I learn more about them, their situation, and the facts
of their case. We brainstorm on what the best things are to focus on because I am a very
touchy-feely person. So, there is some emotional support with the divorce coaching that
you wouldn’t get with an online course.

NATALIE: I love that! I’m so excited about this because I get that question a lot. “Oh my
gosh, I have my first trial hearing and I don’t even know what to expect. What can I
expect?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I never got that far.” I had millions of them scheduled that
were all cancelled by my ex, but I never actually went to one. Here’s another question.
How can a woman prepare her children for a child-focused mediation?

WENDY: Let me clarify that with you a little bit because that is foreign to me. When you
say child-focused mediation, are you saying that the children are involved in the
mediation? Because we don’t have those here.

NATALIE: I’m in Minnesota. What we can do here is that you can have a mediation set up
between you and your ex and the mediator and your attorneys, but to have the children
and their issues represented you get a neutral…It’s someone who has experience in
psychiatry or a mental health professional who also maybe has court experience as well.
Then he interviews the children and does a whole work up. Then he comes to the
mediation as a representative of his findings.

WENDY: Okay. We have some permutation of that in a collaborative divorce, which I have
also done in the past, in custody evaluations where the children may or may not be
represented. There are different types of attorneys who can speak for the children or
speak on their best interest. But if you have an attorney who is speaking for the children,
as far as preparing the children, I think it is important not to try to sway the children or try
to sway them to say what you want them to say or what you think they want to say. It’s
important to let them know that mommy and daddy both love you so much and we want
to spend as much time as we can with you, and we’re just trying to work it out. Somebody
from the court is going to talk to you, and it’s important that you just tell them the truth.
You don’t have to be afraid that anything is going to happen to you. I don’t know, Natalie, if
during the child-focused mediations whether there is an admonition given that neither
party is to reprimand the children about what they might say, or if the children’s voice is
kept confidential or not. I know for a lot of kids there is the fear that one parent is going to
find out and punish them. But you must tell them, “Tell the truth. We love you. You’ve done
nothing wrong. We’re trying to do what is best for you.” Just reassure them that it is going
to be okay. But by no means tell them write a letter about what you want. I would never do
that. I had a client who did it once and she got punished big time.

NATALIE: So, make sure that you are not coaching your kids on what to say in any kind of
situation where they have any kind of a voice.

WENDY: That’s right. It’s a different thing if you have a 12-year old who likes to write in her
journal, and then she gives you her journal or shares a letter with you. That is different
than saying, “Okay, Joanie, write a letter to daddy about what you want.” Those are two
different things.

NATALIE: Right. So, what if she loses? What if the mother, not loses custody but let’s say
that they end up getting 50/50? That would probably be what she would consider a loss.
What are her options after that? Does she just need to accept it? Let’s say things continue
to go downhill for her kids. Is there hope for her to go back and figure out a new way of
dealing with things? Can she present new evidence? How does that work?

WENDY: There is hope. The good thing about child custody proceedings is that a decision
is not necessarily forever, and you can modify a court’s decision. You can’t modify it next
month, and maybe not even next year, but possibly next year. It depends. What a judge is
going to be looking at is a substantial and continuing change in circumstances and whether
that has happened from the time of the decision was entered and whenever you are trying
to make the change. A lot of times with these guys they want power and control, and once
they have it then they move on with their lives and they aren’t exercising their time. That
doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does. So, say you get an ex who wants his power,
he gets his 50/50 time, but then he is cancelling, not calling, not involved with the school,
and different things are happening. These are things that you can use because you are
going to be documenting them now. You can use them in the future to ask the court to
modify parenting time because dad is not exercising it. I will say, when people go back to
modify time, it is usually best if you have more than just one reason for asking the court to
modify. It is rare that there is just one smoking gun. If you have two or three things that
have changed, that is more helpful. So, Dad not doing what he is supposed to combined
with starting a new family or the child having new step-siblings, or the child isn’t doing well
in school. There are a lot of changes that can happen. A physical move, a residential move,
could be a change in circumstances. But I would recommend people looking for more than
just one thing. If you go to court with just one thing, I don’t know that a judge is going to
find a substantial and continuing change.

NATALIE: Okay. I think my last question would be that a lot of the women that I work with
have attorneys, and some of them don’t like their attorney. But again, they kind of feel like
they are the little girl, and everyone is their mom and dad. The attorney kind of represents
that authority figure in their life, so they feel like they are in charge and must know what
they are doing. But inside they don’t feel comfortable with what their attorney is doing.
Maybe their attorney isn’t really doing much of anything. The attorney isn’t really guiding
them – in which case they can go take your courses and figure it out on their own, right?

WENDY: Right, for sure.

NATALIE: So, what should she be expecting? What is the minimum she should be
expecting from her attorney, and when would you advise her to let that attorney go? What
would that process look like to let your attorney go?

WENDY: She should, at the very minimum from day one minute one, be expecting and
demanding of respect. I’ve had so many clients who come to me and say, “I want to hire
you.” Then they start telling me their attorney used to berate them, yell at them, and tell
them they were stupid. I don’t understand that. First, you are paying this person. Second,
they are supposed to be helping you.

NATALIE: Right.

WENDY: So, if you anybody ever does that to you they are not the right person because
they are not treating you with the respect that you deserve. It’s just more abuse. I would
say if even once you are mistreated in that way, say bye-bye. There’s a difference between
that and tough love though. I will say that. Sometimes I must give my clients tough love, but
I’m never disrespectful about it, and I never name call. In terms of timing as to when to get
rid of them, if somebody yells at you or calls you stupid or is just disrespectful, then get rid
of them then.

NATALIE: Can I interrupt here just a second? When you say get rid of, do you get your
retainer money back that hasn’t been spent yet? How does that work?
WENDY: It depends on the contract and what your fee agreement says. But if you are
being billed hourly and they haven’t used some money, yes. Then you are entitled to some
money back. I would want an accounting of everything that has been done today and how
much is left in the trust account. I would want that back. They are required to give you your
file. If you owe them money, they can’t withhold your file from you. They must give the file
back to you. There are ethical rules that state that. I would say though that sometimes bills
are subject to dispute of course. That’s a whole other issue with attorneys. You must look
at the bill and see in good faith if they “earned” the money. If you feel they earned money,
then if you can, pay them. You are entitled to the money. You are entitled to your file. But
in terms of timing, I’ve had friends and I’ve had clients or people who have other attorneys
tell me, “I’m just not getting a good feeling. I don’t feel like my attorney listens to me. I tell
my attorney one thing, then we go into court and the attorney says the exact opposite
from what I told them.” I have a friend who is going through a divorce right now and that is
happening to her constantly. I keep telling her, “Get rid of your attorney.” So, you must trust
your instinct. You must listen to your gut. Your gut delivers valuable information. That’s
called your intuition. The sooner the better because the longer you go the more difficult it
is going to be to get out. It’s like the gambler’s dilemma. A gambler goes to Vegas. They are
losing money at a table. They keep throwing money at it thinking, “It’s going to turn
around.” Then soon they are $10,000 or $20,000 in and they think, “I can’t get out because
I have invested this much.” It’s the same thing with an attorney. If your intuition is saying,
“Something is not right,” or “I don’t like this,” then get out and find a new attorney early on.
There’s a lot of attorneys out there. You must find somebody who resonates with you and
who’s in alignment with who you are and what you want.

NATALIE: Is there a place where people can go to find a good attorney? If someone is
completely starting out. They’ve only been thinking about divorce and now they are
thinking, “Yeah, I want to go find an attorney.” What would their first step be?

WENDY: There’s a website called avvo.com. It’s a ratings website for attorneys. Not all
attorneys claim their profile, so I guess if an attorney hasn’t claimed a profile unless that
attorney was referred to me by somebody I really trust, I probably wouldn’t use that
attorney. But you can look at avvo.com and see what people’s experiences are with a
certain attorney. I would also look at Google. Google Reviews are a good source of
information, that social proof. Really look at what other people are saying. Those are two
places to start. I always think referrals are great. If you have a friend or a friend of a friend
that you trust, see if they can recommend anybody. If you know an attorney, any kind of
attorney not just a family law attorney. If you know a real estate attorney or a
landlord/tenant attorney, I bet that attorney knows someone that they trust. So, it’s not
settling for the first person or the cheapest person but the person who you think is going
to do a good job and that resonates with you.

NATALIE: Right. We talked a little bit about what you do and what you have to offer. I want
to encourage anyone listening to check out her Command the Courtroom YouTube
Channel
for sure to get more of a taste. This is a podcast, so your people might be seeing
this, but my people are just hearing you. Then you can see her and get a feel for who she
is and what she has to offer you. Then you can also go to her website and get on her
mailing list. She gives you lots of value on her mailing list as well. What is your website URL
again?

WENDY: It’s commandthecourtroom.com.

NATALIE: Oh, so easy. So, go to that and get on her mailing list and check out her website
because that’s where you can see the products or help that she has to offer for you. I think
ultimately this is going to save you a ton of money because it is going to set you up with
the knowledge and the skills and all the stuff you need to do ahead of time. Like she said,
you can bring all this stuff to your attorney, your attorney doesn’t have to wade through
everything because everything that your attorney and their paralegal do for you is billable.
So why spend money on that? Why not just do it yourself, present your case to your
attorney, and then make is easy for them. Plus, they will really love you for it, right?

WENDY: That’s right. Totally.

NATALIE: You’ll get off on a good foot with your attorney.

WENDY: For sure.

NATALIE: That’s great. Is there anything else that you wanted to share with this audience
before we close?

WENDY: Natalie, I’ll just say where kids are concerned the judge is always going to be
thinking about the best interest of the kids. So above all, I know the ladies out there that
are your followers are thinking about their kids first. Keep that in mind, but there are
specific legal factors that the judge is going to look at. So, when they go to
commandthecourtroom.com I have a best interest checklist where I went through and
outlined the best interest factors from every single state. So, there is a comprehensive list
of every factor. They aren’t organized by state. They are just in one big list. But your ladies
can know what factors the court is going to look at and which factors apply to their case.
That is free at commandthecourtroom.com. I just wanted to share that. I also wanted to
thank you for being such an awesome host and inviting me to be on the show.

NATALIE: Thank you so much for giving us your time and sharing your time with us.

WENDY: You’re welcome.

NATALIE: For the rest of you, thanks for listening. Until next time, fly free.

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