Tips to impress your family court Judge, and improve your chance of sweet success.
Sure, upsetting the manager of your local Tim Horton’s, with your constant griping, can have you banned from ordering your usual, double double. But hey, it’s not like there aren’t other coffee shops, (everywhere), to slake your sweet tooth, and caffeine addiction.
However, upsetting your family court judge, the dispenser of family court justice, can land you in a double-double world of legal trouble. After all, there are no handy alternative outlets dispensing family law justice.
That’s why it’s a good idea not to upset your family court judge, should you, like many thousands of other Canadians, decide to represent yourself in family court.
So, to assist you in avoiding some of the most common pitfalls in, (and improve your chance of sweet success), I have compiled a list of the top five (5) behaviors, guaranteed to have your family court judge considering having you banned for careless and reckless behavior.
Let’s start with Number 5:
Don’t show up to court on time. This is a particularly risky maneuver, since if you don’t, the court could dismiss your application, allow the other side to succeed on their application, or adjourn matters to another date, perhaps in front of the same judge. Don’t worry, he or she will remember, the next time you actually show up, (they write down such things).
It’s not the court’s responsibility to set your alarm clock, organize your work or social calendar, or behave like your mom. It’s also not a good idea, or excuse, to tell the judge that “you’re just too busy” to attend. He or she will not be amused, to put it mildly. After all, if you don’t feel your matter is important enough to arrive on time, why should the judge?
This takes us to Number 4:
Don’t show respect for the judicial process. This means such things as neglecting to remove your ball cap in court, chewing gum, or forgetting to stand up when the judge enters the courtroom, or simply acting as if you’re at a frat party with your friends.
Be warned, there is a reason that the judge sits above everyone else in the courtroom, and why everyone is expected to stand, when he, or she, enters the room, or when spoken to. It’s called respect for the tradition, and importance, of the judicial process. Showing disrespect will do nothing to advance your case, or impress the judge.
Argue with the other party, other lawyer, or spouse, frequently, and loudly, during court proceedings.
All comments should be directed to the judge, not a running argument with the other party, their lawyer or spouse. If you ignore this simple tip, you will not only irritate the judge; you will end up with less time, and opportunity, to present your own case to the court. Bad call.
Argue with the judge, anytime, including after, (or during), the judge’s decision.
This is one sure fire tactic guaranteed to upset the judge. They do not like being interrupted, argued with, or berated by you. Remember they could have a spouse and/or teenagers of their own, so chances are, they already endure such attitude at home.
If you ignore this advice, you could find yourself cooling your heels in custody as a result of your impertinence. The only exception, to be used with great discretion, is at the end of a judge’s decision, to politely, request a clarification, or correction, (in those rare instances where a judge may have omitted to address one of the key issues).
Last, but certainly not least, Number 1:
Come to court unprepared, to represent yourself. Most judges (but not all) will cut an unrepresented party some “slack”, because all the papers may not have been prepared, or filed on time, etc. But there are some basic legal elements and principles, including the proper presentation of your evidence, which must be followed.
It’s your responsibility, not the judge’s, to be properly prepared for court. It’s a great help to meet with a lawyer (but don’t leave it to the day before trial), to discuss what evidence you need, and how it should be presented.
Such preparation is bound to impress the judge, because it demonstrates that you have taken the time, and effort, to properly understand the legal principles involved, in order to be successful. In other words you have taken the steps to help you achieve sweet success!
To those who ignore or neglect, any one of my five steps, welcome to the double-double world of legal trouble! You better take that to go!
The contents, opinions, and observations, contained in Scott Taylor’s Kitchen Table Divorce, are strictly intended for general information and entertainment purposes only, and are not intended to be relied upon, or to replace, legal advice.
It is recommended you obtain legal advice from Mr. Taylor,(604-534-6361or firstname.lastname@example.org), or another lawyer, with respect to your specific jurisdiction, and legal circumstances.