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Divorced Dads Tips: How to Prepare for Family Court

Jan 19, 2008
DISCLAIMER: The following is NOT legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice. If you are in Family Court you will need legal advice, so please see a lawyer.

Do you know how the most effective divorced dads prepare for Family Court? Consider the following:

Going to Family Court can be a roll of the dice. But, if you're experienced with the game, you will know the difference between good and bad bets. The same principle that keeps you from losing your shirt in Vegas, will keep you out of trouble in Family Court.

The most important thing a divorced dad can do when it come to being prepared for Family Court is to know what goes on there before his case comes before a judge.

If you're not familiar with Family Court--the building, the facilities and the judges--you're doing yourself a great disservice. Go and watch Family Court. Many dads go to Family Court just to get it over and done with. They overlook a crucial concept.

The problems you face with the breakdown of your relationship did not happen overnight. It took time to arrive at the point where you ended up in Family Court. You will need to face these facts:

1. You will be "stuck" in the Family Courts for an indeterminate period of time.
2. It's the only game in town
3. You MUST "play" according to their rules.
4. You must play well.

Learn your courthouse, its staff and the judges. Learn how things work in Family Court. Learn whether the paperwork you want to file "upsets" certain clerks and how each particular judge decides things.

When divorced dads understand these principles, they can begin to position themselves well. It's like watching a ballgame. Study winning teams for strategy. Get a sense of how the referee calls the game.

Just go into Family Court and watch other cases. You can find and attend open motion hearings that occur each week in Family Court. You would be surprised that after a day of watching the same judge, you can predict with about 90% accuracy how that judge will rule. As you watch people do the same things, you learn why people lose. If nothing else, you will learn when to sit down and shut up.

Learn from other people's successes and avoid their mistakes. Watch how the people who win their cases handle themselves. Take your cues from there.

Your judge will be making the ultimate decision concerning you and your kids. You have to learn how they call the game. Learn how to "read" the reactions of your judge and be perceptive enough to see when what you are doing is working for you or working against you and adjust accordingly.

Watching court proceedings is also the quickest way to find a good lawyer. By watching who seems to be in Family Court a lot and who seems to have a good understanding of how to help fathers, you may find the lawyer you need.

Remember this: It's no longer about you, it's about your kids - make the effort. Be better than the good Dad you claim to be. That's the quickest and least expensive path to success in these matters.

During my divorce, I wished for a divorce roadmap. That's why we created a weekly telewebcast, to help men like yourself.

If you've lost in Family Court, don't give up. There is always hope. You've likely lost because you didn't understand that winning requires effectively "waging peace" for your children.

If you base your game plan and strategies upon those of successful fathers, you will improve your chances of success immeasurably. You need help from dads who have done what you are trying to do.
About the Author
Danny Guspie Executive Director of Fathers Resources International can help you learn the successful strategies of fathers who have won in Family Court. Join us on our weekly calls at http://www.DivorcedDadWeekly.com where we will share with you what has worked for many successful divorced dads.
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