There’s a legal principle that basically says that if you don’t ask for something in your petition, there’s a very good chance that you’re not going to be able to get it. For example, somebody made a claim at the final hearing for attorney fees and at the end of the day, they asked for it in court, but it was not listed in their pleading. Some judges may allow the person to go back and amend their pleadings and some judges who won’t permit that at all. It’s very important that if there’s going to be some sort of contested hearing that one asks for every last thing that they could possibly get because one doesn’t know what’s going to happen over the course of the case.
If the other person is being totally wasteful, it might be appropriate to ask for attorney fees most of the time because those are not going to be granted in most instances. If one has obtained an attorney, then having your best interest in heart and being aggressive is what they are trained to do. That’s kind of what the courts expect. One never wants to be in a position where they are going to court and have not listed something that they want.
The court will make the decision to grant that to someone or not if they have not asked for originally. That doesn’t necessarily mean one has to be very specific. If one uses the right language, for example, equitable distribution of marital property and so forth, it’s not going to be a big deal. However, if one leaves out something big, it could cause a lot of problems once they get to a final contested hearing. It’s crucial to be specific and to ask for everything one could want from the beginning to avoid any complications going into the future and to increase one’s chances of success in court.