Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What if You Don't Like the Judge's Ruling?

When you turn your case over to a Judge for a ruling, there's about a 50-50 chance that you will be disappointed or upset by the result.  No matter how right you believe you are, the Judge may see things differently and rule against you.  After years of experience, I think I'm pretty realistic, but I still get surprised when a Judge's ruling is issued.

So,what can you do if you don't like the Judge's ruling? Here are three of my rules to think about.

Rule #1:  Don't tell the Judge.  Some people get incensed by the unfairness,  baselessness or stupidity  of the Judge's decision and they want to immediately speak up and argue with the Judge.  That works about as well as arguing with a baseball umpire or a referee in football or basketball.  It's not going to change the result and could get you thrown out of the game (held in contempt and sent to jail).  Let your attorney handle it!

Rule #2:  Be able to handle adversity.  Remember the old Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want"? That's a true statement that people in the midst of a divorce often forget.  Judges have a lot of discretion on most issues in a divorce.  There are no guarantees of outcome when you go to court. Judges almost never rule 100% for one side.  Be prepared to lose some issues. If you get an adverse ruling, your lawyer can help you figure out the best way to handle it.

Rule #3:  Maybe you can still get what you need.  (Again, from the  Rolling Stones.)  You may have to make the best of the situation, and maybe that will turn out to be enough.  Usually, there's more than one way to do things and your attorney can help you figure out alternatives. Your new plan may not be as nice and easy as what you envisioned, but you can make it work.  Don't be discouraged.  Just keep thinking of other ways to meet your needs.

Generally, it's better to work out agreements outside of court.  If you get stuck and have to go to court, be prepared for things to not go your way.  Let your attorney take the lead and be willing to try new ways to meet your needs.  Good luck!

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