BAD JUDGE? HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO
When you go to court for your divorce, one factor that you’re not in control of is the judge who will preside. While your attorney could ask to have a different judge if there’s a reason to do so, you may find that you’re stuck with whom you have.
In some situations, it may seem like the judge just doesn’t like you, and you might be right. Judges have biases, just like anyone else, even though they’re not supposed to act on them.
What is a judge’s actual role in court?
The judge’s job is to make sure everyone follows the rules in court. He or she can make decisions in a divorce case if you and your spouse can’t agree. In that situation, it’s vital that you’re on the judge’s good side.
What can you do to help yourself in court?
Most people can help themselves by coming to court on time. You should be respectful of the judge’s position and be sure not to interrupt. Come dressed appropriately for court, so the judge recognizes that you’re taking the case seriously.
In the case that your attorney realizes that the judge seems to be against you and that there are significant issues coming up with how the judge is handling the case, it’s possible to ask the judge to recuse him- or herself. This means that the judge will willingly step down from the case. Usually, this is only an option if there is a conflict of interest. However, if you can show that the judge is against you because of going through a similar situation or because he or she knows your spouse, then it’s worth asking to recuse him- or herself immediately.
While it’s uncommon to have a truly bad judge, it’s not unheard of. Speak up if you think something isn’t right in your case.