We inevitably get asked, “how many cases do you win?” or “what’s your records for these types of cases” or “is my case a winnable case?” The issue is that we’re not civil attorneys. This isn’t a car wreck. I know sometimes the complete disaster that your relationship has become feels like some sort of car wreck as a euphemism of sorts, but the types of law are not comparable. There are numerous factors that come into play that make such simplified questions almost funny. We stress that no results are predicted. We can, however, almost guarantee that all of our cases will end in a divorce, but the funny part of that is that it still depends on you. Here are a few factors that you need to consider before trying to make your lawyer’s ability to “win” your case so black and white:
- You may be the villain. We don’t know whether you’re a great person or not. We met you just like you met us. It may have been through a friend or family member, but each of us has deep dark secrets that others don’t know. We may begin to represent you, and low and behold your deep dark secret is the equivalent to demonic possession. We can only do so much when our client is really not the “victim,” regardless of whether he or she feels victimized. Further, we can only prove so much to the Judge as far as parenting when the other side is able to see through your mask and is able to do so in front of the Judge.
- Your ex may be Mother Theresa. Similar to how you could truly be Voldemort of sorts, your ex could be perfection. He or she could practically be a saint and no matter what you do, they can 1-up you in the eyes of the court, the law, and your case. You could be stating what a great influence you are, but no matter what, they could be doing it better than you. We can show how wonderful you are all day long, you may come up smelling like roses, but if the other side comes up smelling like cookies, it’s going to be hard to beat.
- Case law is hard to overcome. We can try to overcome some case that we feel is unfair and ridiculous, but there’s this thing called stare decisis which means “to stand by things decided.” Basically, for you, it means that as different as you are, as different as your facts are, the law must be followed as it was in similar cases. This is one thing that is forever stagnant. We can attempt to show the facts in such a way as to differentiate your case, but the Judge will not reinvent the wheel for each case. If they did, could you imagine how backed up our court systems would be?
- Evidence is essential. We have the responsibility of “proving” your case through evidence. You can tell us all day long that someone said something to you that gave you concern, but we can’t prove to the court what was said unless we bring proof. Just like when we first met each other, the Judge doesn’t know you. They can’t take your word for it because, as it was said above, you could be the villain in all this. Lying under oath is not beneath a majority of people. It may seem like a big deal to some, but there are a large amount of people who do it without blinking an eye. If you want to say that you saw your husband token up on the weekends, bring us a picture. If you want to say that your wife is diddling the soccer coach, bring us video proof. If your husband is letting your brother in law tattoo the children, make sure the children are there to show the judge the tattoos. If your wife’s mother is making poisonous potions and putting it in your soup, bring us 1) the soup 2) a scientist that has tested it and 3) video of her actually attempting to poison you. We can only do so much work without assistance from our clients.
- It all comes down to the Judge. Regardless of what you want, how your trial goes, what facts you present, how you feel about your case, what witnesses turn up, what your lawyer says, what the opposing attorney says, what evidence you give us, none of it matters if the Judge doesn’t want to give you what you want. Some judges are anti-alimony; some are very pro joint custody. Filing for divorce is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. You might end up with pure milk chocolate and caramel, or you might end up with one of those nasty raspberry filled pieces. Be prepared to change your expectations depending on which judge you get. It’s very rare that you’ll get another!