It’s not infrequent that I have a client who says their ex is completely crazy. Often they are correct, though just as often my client also has a little bit of the crazy – after all, they were married! In truth, everyone is a little crazy, at least on occasion, in a divorce. The key is tempering it when you need to, which is something not everyone can do.
When you’re trying to prove to the judge or court that your ex is the one who is making up lies, exaggerating, and generally trying to hurt you and/or drag your name through the mud, you have to keep several things in mind or you will not be successful.
- The judge has a very limited time with you, so s/he has to make quick decisions based on very little information. The judge, remember, knows nothing about you, your ex, your past, your history, or anything other than what is before the court and what you manage to convey in a short hearing.
- Most examples and instances of unreasonable behavior are difficult, if not impossible to prove because there is no outside evidence and it comes down to he said-she said. The judge has no idea who to believe in those circumstances, so it’s up to you to prove that you are the credible one.
- When you start before the court, you and your ex are on equal footing. If you want to show that your ex is unreasonable, then you have to work extra hard to appear as reasonable as you possibly can. If you both act unreasonably, then the judge puts you both in the same category, so your pleas that your ex is really the one with the problem will fall on deaf ears.
- Proving you are credible, and thus the one to be believed, can be harder than you think it is. You have to be absolutely truthful with the court – which means no half-truths, no misleading comments, and being up-front and providing relevant information when appropriate, even if not asked. It also means following ALL – yes, all – court orders to the letter, even if you don’t like them, don’t want to, or are trying to bury your head in the sand, hoping it will go away.
- If you are able to do all of these things, and convince the judge that you are the one that is credible, reasonable, and responsible, then you can start to make headway against your unreasonable ex.
- If you fail to show the judge that you are reasonable, then it takes far longer to dig yourself out of the hole with the judge than it would have to just behave in the first place.