Familiarity With The Court Matters In Divorce

Though a statement rather than one of the common divorce questions in the practice of law, whether family law or otherwise, there is an old sophomoric saying, “It’s better to know the judge than to know the law”. Though clients are generally asking from a familiarity standpoint, some are asking or raising such as issue from the standpoint of whether having a personal relationship outside of the courtroom could mean favorable results in the courtroom. As justice is “blind”, this saying suggests potentially unethical outcomes based on a familiarity with your judge. In reality, if an existing relationship is meaningful enough so as even to give the hint of impropriety, a judge should most certainly recuse himself or herself from the case.

The above stated being said, it is highly important from a tactical standpoint, for both the divorce lawyer and the client in the divorce or custody case to have an informed understanding of the judge he or she will be in front of. In the Denver area and the state of Colorado, juries do not hear family law matters. There is one person deciding how to deal with the facts and circumstances of each case and rendering a ruling.

Believe it or not, judges are human. Therefore, they are likely to have individual viewpoints on various topics in your family law case, such as how to a construe a particular statutory section as it relates to your circumstances, or a parent’s ability to work as related to child support. It is beneficial for a divorce lawyer to keep in mind what facts, arguments, or divorce questions the judge will want to hear prior to a decision. For additional information read, divorce.

If in response to a divorce questions, your attorney says, “Well, I think this judge will rule this way on this issue,” the attorney is speaking from experience, courtroom knowledge, or information passed down from other attorneys. That does not mean the attorney has a crystal ball and knows for certain how that judge will rule. This counsel from your lawyer is provided to assist you in your decision making process on how to move forward with your case. As with all conversations, your domestic relations lawyer should be speaking with your best interest in mind.

Utilization of your attorney’s advice based on insight and experience can help you wade through a difficult time in your life in an informed manner. Be sure to ask your divorce questions no matter how important you may or may not feel they are, as they may matter. The extent to which you interact with your lawyer may improve the decisions used to implement strategies in your case.

Stephen J. Plog, JD has been with the firm of Plog & Stein, PC since 1999, having started practicing law in the Denver, Colorado area in 1998. Mr. Plog’s practice has entailed almost exclusively divorce or family law since 2001. His practice aims to approach each case in an analytical and honest manner and advises clients accordingly.

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