A judge in a divorce court has seen it all. He or she has seen the drama queens, the crocodile tears, the acting, the anger and foul temper…all of it. Few things will faze a Houston family law judge. In fact, most of them get angry when you try to impress them. However, they are also humans and will clearly respect decorum and good manners. They fully know what you are going through. They however expect that as an adult, you will behave like one. There is no need of throwing tantrums like a child in a court. After all, the case will be decided on points of law and not on emotions. And yes, they will put into consideration your feelings, but only in as much as they do not contradict the law. Hopefully, your Houston divorce lawyer will have advised you as much. So what can you do to impress a judge and have he/she in your corner?
You cannot come in court unprepared and expect to attract the judge into your view of things. You need to be prepared in all aspects; emotions, facts, decorum, and evidence. Of course your Houston divorce lawyer will take care of the evidence and facts part, but when being cross examined, your facts need to be consistent with those of your lawyers. Any form of inconsistency will be interpreted as lying. Even a layman can tell that when two people in the same team tell two different stories, one of them, or both of them are lying. Be very prepared!
Calling your spouse names, giving him/her an icy look, crying uncontrollably and all other forms of emotional expression give the judge the wrong ‘vibes’. You will look extremely unstable and this may cause the judge to deny you the chance to live with your kids. You need to show maturity, firmness and decisiveness. These are qualities of a good parent. So, if you want to retain the kids, be strong. A tear here and a tear there is not bad for show, but complete breakdown is very wrong.
Most courts have their set protocol. You will hear your Houston divorce lawyer addressing the judges as ‘your honor’. Follow his cue. You will be expected to stand and sit upon the entry and exit of the judge in the courtroom. You should never interrupt your lawyer, your partner’s lawyer, your partner or the judge when speaking. Wait for your turn to speak. Make sure you keep quiet in court. Unless it is absolutely necessary, keep to yourself and avoid whispering to your lawyer. This makes you look like you want to fix your spouse. Before going to court, let your lawyer explain the court procedure succinctly.
Honesty is a good and admirable quality. Even if telling the truth will put your case in jeopardy, always tell the truth. The judge will appreciate it if you can acknowledge your mistakes in the marriage. It is the honorable thing to do. It makes you look mature and ready to handle your problems. This is a very good sign of a responsible parent. If you tell the truth, you will be helping the court move along and save a lot of time. This is always appreciated. You never know, the judge may rule in your favor, or, will not be trying too hard to hand you a raw deal.
Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer, who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases. He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts. Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.
Michael Busby Jr.
Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com