There are few things more detrimental to a divorce proceeding than a very bitter spouse. Judges are experts at picking up the bitterness. Any motion or demand made by the bitter party will be viewed with distrust. Thus, it is very important in a divorce to have control of your emotions – if only to keep the judge on your side.
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Some people might expect a divorce book written by a judge to stress the importance of the judicial system in helping couples reach a just outcome in their divorce. If this is you, then you might be surprised at the advice offered by Judge Robert Duncan in this book.
Judge Duncan tells it like it is. He doesn’t aggrandize himself or the family law system to which he devoted most of his judicial career. For example, on dealing with divorce courts he states, he “saw over and over again that the system stinks.”
At the beginning of a divorce many people do not see themselves negotiating anything with their spouses. They feel that only a judge can justly resolve the issues arising out of the divorce. This is often not the case.
When I started practicing law, my boss told me “never say never” (i.e. “Judges never make bad decisions”). She said you never really know how a judge will rule. A judge’s personal views and background can sometimes shape the outcome of a case. International news underscores my boss’s point.