Three Judges: The Bad, The Fair and The Biased
The beginning of any end never comes easy it is a hard process.
A marriage in the eyes of the court is simply a union or a partnership. When you are in a partnership both sides are equal to the whole and now the whole that wants to be split into two “equal” parts even if one side may have contributed more. The bottom line is now the court has a job to do and its only goal is to split it into two pieces.
The moment in time when the petition for divorce is filed is the point in time that the courts base everything on. It is a snap shot of your assets, bank accounts, and everything else you and your wife have together.
You may think that this sounds unfair as maybe financially you contributed more to the partnership, either as an initial contribution or during but remember she likely contributed other things to the partnership as well. Don’t think of this as the end of the world, as this may actually sound a lot worse than it is in reality. In my experience the hardest part to swallow was how long the process will take to actually divide the union. If you are lucky, you won’t go through that court process for as long as I did.
There are many stages of divorce proceedings and although there are many factors that determine how long your case will take most people do not realize that the participants control the actual divorce process. The majority of divorces are settled do not end in a contested courtroom proceeding. The traditional method for dissolving a marriage is by divorce litigation. It is used when the couple can’t agree upon how to resolve the money and child aspects of their divorce. Each spouse will hire a divorce lawyer to contest each issue in court and eventually, at a trial. Most divorce cases are settled out of court and only about five percent of divorce cases do go to trial, and 100% of these cases are never ever done with a jury. The ultimate decision is either settled by the participants or is left solely in the Judge’s hands.
Many criminal and civil cases can be heard by a jury, however in divorce where not only all your assets are divided but your children’s lives are also dealt with, solely a judge makes the final decision unless a settlement can be reached.
When your divorce ends up going to trial, you are basically relinquishing all your power and control to the judge. During trial, the judge controls the playing field by making your life difficult and will force you to provide financial and other information that you may not want to share.
Throughout my divorce process, I went through three different judges – the bad, the fair and the biased. The first judge assigned to my case was so corrupt that he was removed from the bench and forced into early retirement. As a result, all of his cases were assigned to a second interim judge who in my opinion was fair, but was not a divorce judge and was removed from my case and later retired. After she was removed, my case was assigned to a third judge who ended up being the worst of them all. Shortly before he was assigned to my case, he became the head Judge of the Divorce department in my county. Almost immediately, it was apparent that this Judge was biased against my side. During the time he presided over the case, he made several critical errors by conducting his own independent research of my assets by using the Internet in order to determine the value of the home I moved into once I separated from my wife. The first thing you are told when serving jury duty is to listen to the case without being biased and not to conduct your own research related to the case. It quickly became apparent to me that this judge would not or could not preside fairly over my case and I needed to take steps in order to regain some control over the situation, as I could not leave the final decision in his biased hands. At this point, I knew that I had a choice to make, the judge clearly did something wrong and I had to decide to continue this fight and request that the judge either be recused from the case or settle this case.
Divorce litigation typically causes more hostility between the couple and it can take a long time. This process can become very expensive, with each party racking up attorneys and experts’ fees by the hour and, the couple may have no control over the ultimate outcome. Unless a settlement is agreed to, the judge has sole discretion and you are at the mercy of the court.