A Dirty Little Secret About Your Family Law Judge

I know a dirty little secret about your family law judge.  Want to know what it is?  No worries.  I’m going to let you in on it, but first, I want to tell you HOW I know this dirty little secret.

Getta load of this:

I was roommates with your family law judge in law school.  I worked at my very first job alongside your family law judge.

Your family law judge let me rent an office in his suite when he was only a lawyer and I first opened my practice.

Before she took the bench, your family law judge and I were on opposite sides of the same case more than once.  Your family law judge and I used to go out to lunch together on a regular basis.

I have been to a Phoenix Suns game with your family law judge.  Your family law judge has been to my house.  

I have done shots with your family law judge.

Want to know a dirty little secret about your judge?

Want to know a dirty little secret about your judge?

Because of all this, I know A LOT about your family law judge.  I am going to share my knowledge with you.  If you take what I have to say seriously, you will gain an edge in your family law case.

If we were to proceed to trial on the issue of who your family law judge REALLY is, the evidence would show the following:

Underneath that robe, your family law judge is a person just like you and me.  He may or may not have kids, but he has a family whom he loves.  He might have a dog or a cat that is his life’s companion and means the world to him.  He likes to laugh.  He wants happiness.

Your family law judge suffers from self-doubt.  She fights the daily battle against self-abuse.  Your family law judge wants to be right and always does her darndest to make the best decisions possible. Your family law judge is embarrassed when she screws things up. And yes, she DOES screw up.

Your family law judge has dysfunction in his relationships.  Hell, he might even be divorced.  Your family law judge may have been a victim of cheating or domestic violence.  Because of all this, your family law judge has been to counseling.

Your family law judge goes to your church.  She does yoga.  She likes to eat hamburgers.  And ice cream.  And Red Vines.

Your family law judge struggles with his health.  He tries to balance his eating, his food intake AND his stress level.  Your family law judge has walked next to you on the treadmill at the “Y”.

Your family law judge is a breast cancer survivor.  She once overcame a situational battle with depression because of a love lost.  Your family law judge volunteers every Thanksgiving at a local homeless shelter.

Your family law judge has taken his kids to see all of the Toy Story movies.  She has read the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.  Your family law judge plays the ukulele.

Your family law judge might be an introvert.  Or an extrovert.  Your family law judge might be warm and fuzzy as a person which carries over onto the bench.  Or not.

One thing IS for sure, though…

Your family law judge is a person just like you and me.  He struggles with all the same issues.  In spite of the challenges, some of which are emotionally and physically paralyzing, your judge shows up, sits up and listens every single day.  TO YOU.

Your family law judge has the enormous burden of deciding YOUR fate in a matter of hours (and sometimes minutes).  It is a heavy and hard job.  Unfortunately for him (and you), one of the few things your family law judge can base his decision on is how YOU act in the courtroom.  Oh, and also how you act in the months leading up to your court date.

So, take it from me:

Don’t piss him off.

When you are in his courtroom, speak to every single person in that courtroom (including your ex, your ex’s lawyer and the judge’s assistant) with respect.  Do not wear hats, sunglasses, shorts, tank tops or sundresses in the courtroom.  Do not walk into the courtroom eating a banana or drinking a Big Gulp.  Do not interrupt.  Do not speak unless you are asked to speak.  Do not argue.  Do not cuss.  Do not come to court hammered.

Do act with humility.  Do give straight answers.  Do make eye contact with the judge.  Do wait for questions to be asked before you give answers.  Do follow through on your promises.  Do execute every single order the judge has given to you whether you like it or not.

Your family law judge is a person just like you and me.  Just like you and me, if you push your family law judge, he will push you back.  If you show disrespect to or in front of your family law judge, he will consider what he sees in making a decision that is in the best interest of your family.  If you ignore the authority of a family law judge by not following his orders, he will do his job, which is TO UPHOLD THE LAW.

At best, this could mean you get scolded.  At worst, you could get thrown in jail.  Actually, even worse than that, you could lose custody of your kids.

Your family law judge doesn’t want to be mean.  Your family judge isn’t out to destroy your life. Your family law judge is, however, human, and if you rub her the wrong way or push the wrong buttons, things just may not work out for you.

So…in spite of all this, I am often asked by my clients whether we can get rid of our current judge and get a new one. Sometimes we can, and sometimes we can’t.  It all depends on the rules.

In this week’s Hernandez Family Law blog post, we lay those rules out for you.  If you are thinking you might need a new judge, take a look at 5 Things to Know About Your Family Court Judge. Once you’ve soaked it in, leave us a comment and give us YOUR suggestions for making the best impression on your family law judge.

Next time you are headed to court, remember what your family law judge wants isn’t really that big of a mystery.  Your family law judge wants fairness.  She wants harmony.  She wants us all to get along.  She wants the best thing for you and your family.

YOU hold the power by your words and actions.  Leverage that power both inside and outside the courtroom.  Above all, remember our dirty little secret: underneath that robe, your family law judge is a person just like you and me.  (Click to tweet this!)

Sending you my wishes for an orderly week!

All my best,


P.S.  If you liked this post, leave a comment below, like us on Facebook and +1 us on Google!

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