It is imperative that you are prepared for custody court and research how to answer questions the judge will ask you.
I will demonstrate this by a story have a story to tell you about my daughter Paloma, and it does relate to the family law courtroom but you are going to have to wait till the end to find out.
Paloma is really enjoying ham and cheese burrito right now which is one of my favorites. Before that her favorite was peanut butter and jelly.
So what she is used to me doing is making the burrito and cutting it in half and putting it into her lunch. The other day I wanted to eat half a burrito for myself so I rolled out the tortilla and cut it in half. So she came in and she wanted a half a burrito too, so this time I was making the burrito differently and making each half burrito separately. Instead of making the whole burrito and cutting it in half, so I was making it one half at a time since I had already cut the tortilla.
Well Paloma saw me making the burrito this way and completely had a meltdown and freaked out because I was not making the burrito the way she liked it…the way I made it before. And this time she wanted a whole burrito. So to calm her down I made another whole burrito and gave it to her. But she said ‘No Mommy, I want you to cut it in half, which made no sense to me since I had already made a half burrito before and now she wants this half burrito.
So, “Things are always how you slice them” And it’s the same thing to a 5-year old as it is to a judge in the courtroom during a divorce or custody hearing.
If you don’t know what a judge wants or expects then you won’t know how to present what the judge wants or what they expect at your hearing. So you won’t be able to slice your case like the judge wants to see it. This could lead to devastating results for you in the courtroom.
When people represent themselves in a divorce it’s really important to know what the judge expects. Here are ways to find out.
-Go for a Test Drive with the Judge. Go see him in action. When he has a divorce or custody trial go sit in at the hearing. Find out what his quirks or idiosyncrasies and what he likes to hear from the parties.
-what questions does the judge ask you?
-In some states, like Arizona, there is a website where sometimes judges will actually put on there what they want, what they don’t want, what you should do and the rules of the courtroom. If you find this in your state then heed what the judge says and follow the rules.
If the judge says you need to create a pre-trial statement with x, y and z then definitely prepare that pre-trial statement on time and include every single thing the judge wants you to include.
Be prepared when you go into the courtroom. Know what to expect, know what the judge is looking for, the questions the judge will ask, be prepared for your divorce or custody hearing and know how the judge wants and how you should deliver.
Things will go much better for you if you know how to slice things the way the judge wants you to.