If you have been through divorce then you are familiar with the rules and procedures that govern the legal process. Divorce is a civil action, and every state has rules of civil procedure.
What you don't hear about — but have probably fallen victim to — are the unwritten rules. These are the rules that define how judges and lawyers conduct themselves with each other. They have more to do with the outcome of a divorce case than the written rules.
In my next few posts, I'm going to talk about the unwritten rules. It's my opinion that when it comes to the Family Court system, the only interests served are those of divorce lawyers and Family court Judges.
Rule #1. Lawyers and judges cover for each other.
Most judges and lawyers will not report each other for misconduct or violations of judicial ethics. Judges especially can get away with bad behavior, because lawyers don't want to get on a judge's bad side. Lawyers know they will go before that judge again, and staying chummy with the judge is more important than their client getting a high standard of care.
I have a close friend who took her ex spouse back to court seven times to try to collect child support. She had a court order that he pay a certain amount and her attorney had requested that the judge sign an income withholding order so that her ex spouse’s wages could be garnished.
Nearly two years later she is still waiting for the judge to sign the income withholding order and still living with her ex slow leaking child support payments to her at his whim.
What has her attorney done? Nothing, he is afraid of “pissing” the judge off. There are several legal avenues open to her attorney but he refuses to take any of them because whether or not he stays on the judge’s good side is more important than his fiduciary duty to his client.
Therein lies one of the problems with the Family Court System. How can the system hold an ex spouse accountable with the lawyers and judges who run the system can’t held themselves and each other accountable?
How to Protect Yourself Against the Unwritten Rules: