Each state operates by its own divorce laws, and therefore no two states handle divorces identically. However, no matter what state you get divorced in, you cannot change the fact that the judge who presides over your case will hold a lot of the power.
As divorce attorneys, we've seen it all when it comes to judges. We've seen how one judge's opinion or personality can impact the outcome of a divorce case, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad.
From spousal support to child custody, one judge's opinion can have a significant impact of a family law case, and this power cannot be underestimated, especially by spouses in a contested divorce case.
If you and your spouse are able to reach a fair and reasonable divorce settlement without a judge's intervention, that's great. But if you and your spouse end up going before a judge more times than you'd like to admit, then the future of your divorce will be in the judge's hands.
Judges are People with Opinions and Beliefs
Judges may wear a black robe and sit above everyone else in the courtroom, but they are people too. They have their own opinions, personal biases and personal problems to deal with just like everybody else in this world.
While judges are supposed to be nonbiased while making decisions about people's lives, they are not computers, they are human beings. If your judge finds a reason to form a negative opinion about you at the onset of your divorce proceedings, you could be in for an unsatisfactory outcome.
Here is some advice to help you in the courtroom:
- Be polite to the judge, your spouse and your spouse's attorney at all times. If the judge sees that you are rude or disrespectful, he or she will likely form a negative opinion from that.
- Do not interrupt the judge when he or she is speaking.
- The courtroom is a formal place, be sure to dress respectably as if you're going to a job interview.
- Do not lie about assets or income, you will lose all credibility with the judge.
- If you have a contested divorce, you have to be reasonable. Otherwise, you cannot expect to get the results that you want.
Remember, the judge's opinion about you can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. That said, dress and behave is such a manner that paints you in the most favorable light possible.
Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney from Claery & Green, LLP.