• Scott Semrau

The Number-one Secret to Winning in Family Court is... Be Nice

Mostly, judges and the court system are impartial. Oh sure, it feels very personal when it’s your wealth and your family and your marriage. But the judge wants to finish today’s ten cases because tomorrow there will be ten more. True, judges want to make a good decision, but they are not invested in what may feel like some of the worst trauma in your life. So it does not help to show your emotions whether they are angry or sad. It’s best to be courteous, and trust your attorney to represent your case to the court in a way that will get you what you want from your divorce.


Unfortunately, Family Law is often treated like an unwelcome in-law with constantly changing conflicts that are dependent on current cultural norms, just trying to fit into the legal system, following without understanding the adopted family dynamics. Most judges would probably say that they attempt to overlook any posturing or blame from the parties, and that they depend on the rational arguments, based on the rules lawfully interpreted, by your legal representative or by you.


So here it is: to be successful in family law court you need to anticipate the concerns of the court and give them the information they want. It’s okay to make it personal or interesting in a non-incendiary way, but more than anything, it’s important to give them the facts. Be courteous to your former spouse even if you feel that you want to tear their story into pieces along with their attorney. Follow your attorney’s lead and use the court system and it’s rules to gain the custody or the alimony, or the distribution of assets to which you are entitled in your divorce.


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You can be nice without being a pushover. Simply say what you want and state the facts and trust your attorney to represent your interests in a way that will give you the satisfaction you deserve. Win by “being nice”, professional, and courteous.



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