How Relationship Timelines Help Divorce Attorneys Win for Their Clients

man and woman discussing divorce | relationship timeline for divorceAs family law attorneys know all too well, once they and their clients enter the courtroom to litigate a divorce, the power moves out of their hands and into the court’s. The court will be the ones to make major decisions about that client’s family and future.

This can be a very daunting prospect in divorce cases because, as the old cliche goes, there’s two sides to every story. And if a relationship is ending in divorce, those two sides of the story are likely to be very contentious.  Having to depend on a judge’s interpretation of two different stories can be an intimidating proposition, even for very experienced divorce attorneys, and this is when having a relationship timeline for your case can really mean the difference between a win and a loss for that client.

Judges Are Extremely Busy

Judges often have very busy dockets, and while our society gives a great deal of well-deserved respect and power to judges, they are still only human beings. That means they can make mistakes, be overwhelmed with work, be distracted and of course, they can even have bad days. And when it comes to your client’s future and their family, a distracted judge not getting all of the important facts of your case, can seem like a real gamble.

Contentious divorce cases are seldom black and white scenarios, where it’s clear which party is in the right and which is in the wrong. And because of that, the only advantage a divorce lawyer may have is the ability to clearly and concisely tell their client’s story. Ultimately, whichever side is able to present the facts in the most compelling way, will win. One of the most effective ways to present the facts in your client’s divorce case, is to create a relationship timeline that clearly lays out all of the incidents that happened leading up to the divorce.

Using a Relationship Timeline to Tell Your Client’s Story

A relationship timeline enables an attorney to show a judge in court the history of a relationship in painstaking detail. A divorce attorney can show how often one party in the divorce missed parenting time or important events for the children. In domestic violence cases, a lawyer can show how often a former spouse harassed their ex, or showed up in inappropriate places, at inappropriate times.  In contempt cases, an attorney can show how frequently one party neglected to make alimony or child support payments.

However it is used, by creating a timeline that shows the story of the relationship, an attorney can lay out where and when their client’s partner started behaving badly and not living up to their end of the marriage contract, using a visual narrative to really communicate their case to the judge.

Further Reading: How to Navigate in TrialLine

Creating Relationship Timelines with TrialLine

TrialLine is a powerful legal timeline tool that is simple and intuitive to use. TrialLine enables divorce attorneys to easily create relationship timelines for their cases that display the facts in a clear and compelling way. And in divorce cases, where the outcome relies on the word of one party against the other’s, these divorce timelines can support and enhance the verbal testimony of your client, helping to validate their story.

And because TrialLine is cloud-based and lets lawyers add team members to their accounts, that enables the clients to work on their own relationship timelines from anywhere there is an internet connection. The client knows their story better than anyone, so they’ll be the best ones to tell it. TrialLine gives them a voice at a time when they may feel like they have little to no power.

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Author: Travis Luther

Travis Luther is the founder of

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