How do you battle the biases of a judge in your family law case?
Divorce is an unwelcome intruder in otherwise content and fulfilling relationships. Unfortunately in many instances, divorce gets the upper hand and splits a couple or family apart. Blame is often hurled back and forth like a hot potato and that impasse might carry on into the courtroom during settlement decisions.
It’s bad enough if you and your spouse hold ill will toward one another, but what happens if a judge also shows bias in your Michigan divorce case? In spite of attempts to adhere to our nation’s basic principles of equality, that notion is commonly discounted in family law cases.
Court decisions are intended to be decided by an impartial judge whose sworn duty is to leave personal biases at home, but family law can have significant influence on a final decision. The best thing you can do is act accordingly before your hearing.
Don’t Sling Mud
One straightforward way to curb a judge’s bias is to stick to the high road and put your best face forward. The worst thing you can do is get into a knock down drag out argument with your spouse in the courtroom. An aura of negativity or bad temper will only reflect poorly on you and instantly squash your credibility.
It isn’t always easy to stay calm in the heat of a moment, so rise to the occasion and keep a level head.
If you are a father and remember only one thing during a pending divorce where children are involved, make it this: Be present. Regardless of modern-day views of equality among genders and women today often holding lofty career positions and earning more than men, our country has long-held beliefs of women being the primary caregiver.
That said, some judges might approach a case with an already-instilled opinion that a child is better off with their mother. To alleviate that bias as a father, be sure you are present for the big moments in your child’s life as well as everyday activities whenever possible.
Stay on the Judge’s Good Side
It might seem juvenile or even trite on the surface, but it’s in your best interest to stay on a judge’s good side. Courtroom decorum is a big deal when presenting your case and questionable behavior on your part is a fast track to losing momentum with a judge. Regardless if justified or not, a judge expects a certain level of integrity and everything you do and say will be scrutinized and measured.
Be respectful every step of the way.
Courtroom Behavior Tips
Believe it or not, there are good ways to behave in court and bad ways. Just like being on your best behavior as a kid at a wedding or in church, hold the straight and narrow in front of a judge:
- Stay calm and speak with respect.
- Dress nicely and be sure you look sharp.
- Do not tell a lie.
- Don’t cry.
- Be organized.
For more advice on bias in the courtroom and how to address it, contact Gucciardo Family Law today at (248) 723-5190.
Too much information?
We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.