We are all but imperfect human beings. We all do things with the best of motives and upon searching our souls know the best and right thing to do even while we go off and do something entirely different, making achieving our goals and reaching the happiness we crave so much more difficult. Following a few simple commandments will make your life a lot easier.
Here at Family Law Assistance we’ve seen and heard a lot. We’ve seen a wide range of tactics used (and justified) – and we’ve seen the outcome for good and bad. We also see things more clearly very often, our clients paying us to provide a more clinical view of a case than they are able to. Because at the end of the day they’re your kids and not ours – it is hard to be impartial when it comes to your own children.
So it’s fair to say we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
It’s common for people to say `I bet you’ve not anyone as bad as my ex’ or `I bet this is the worst case you have ever seen’. You’d be surprised – we won’t discuss details (a two year custodial sentence for contempt of court often offends) – but it is fair to say we’ve seen some challenging situations.
There is often a pattern however – certain immutable rules that are a sure fire way to help or hinder your case. If we were gamblers we’d have a fair guess when it comes to what will and won’t work in a court case.
So with no further ado…
1.) Thou Shalt Not Slag Thine Ex off on Social Media
No excuses. Ever. Because there are none that will be accepted by a court in mitigation if you are asked to justify why you describe your ex as a
****', a `****’ or even a `****’. You won’t be thanked your honest or your insight even if you are demonstrably correct. Instead you are likely to be painted as someone who is more interested in sticking it to your ex than you are producing a child-focused solution.
Better still? Don’t mention the ex at all. Or your case. You don’t have to convince us, remember. Just the court…
Pro-tip: Slagging the ex off or what he/she is doing whilst not naming them won’t cut it.
2.) Though Shalt Remain Whiter than White at All times
Many people feel they are lied about during court hearings. Why give the other party the opportunity to say unpleasant and true things about you – even better for them if they can prove it?
Again…the court won’t be persuaded by the argument `Yes – I know I did that but he/she is just as bad or worse!’ Or anything else for that matter.
No matter unfair it may seem or indeed be.
3.) Thou Shalt Keep Thine Eye Upon The Ball
What are you going to court for? Proving the ex wrong? Having your say? Getting things on record? Or for ensuring your kids have a relationship with you?
The court will only take any notice of the last one of these. If your motivation for making an application is anything else…save yourself the cost, time, effort and heartache and don’t bother. Seriously. Go on a nice holiday or something instead.
And don’t waste your time trying to get the court to do stuff it doesn’t have the power to order – like communicating with you.
If you do go to court make sure your original motivation for going there stays the same throughout. Don’t get distracted by false allegations – refute them. Don’t get into arguments over anything other than your kids’ best interests. If the other side can change the subject and get you riled…they will. Be wise to it.
4.) Thou Shalt Not Take the whole Family Law System Head on
Maybe you’re a tough guy who never gives up. Show me the man/woman who will tell you `At least I had the guts to tell that judge and everyone else like it is’ and I will show you someone with no contact and non molestation and barring orders against him/her.
That’s because the court is geared to dealing with angry, aggressive and unreasonable people who will shout the odds and get aggressive when they don’t get their way. Do that and you’ll be chewed up, spat out and forgotten by the time you’re out of the court room door.
5.) Thou Shalt Listen to Those with Some Knowledge
So you’re in a difficult situation. It probably feels quite unique. It ain’t. No matter how hard it is I can guarantee you someone has gone through it years before you…and there will be others who will do some in the future too. Amongst them will be the ones who have done well and others who haven’t. Learn from the mistakes of those who have come before and listen to those who have hung around to help others. If you use a solicitor, the same applies – after all, at £260 an hour it’s quite reasonable to assume they will help in some capacity.
The same goes if you use your friendly local McKenzie Friend – namely, us. We’re pretty good at advising you if your chosen course of action is good or bad. We won’t hesitate to tell you if you’re shooting yourself in the foot. After all a good friend tells you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear.
So that’s it. There will be another 5 of these handy commandments coming up as time progresses. But it ain’t rocket science guys. We’re on your side and if you choose to let us help you we’ve got your back. And like the original commandments it’s fair to say these are set in stone.
You’re not alone. Contact us to find out how we can help.
Here endeth the lesson.