Some people believe that it is ok to act like a moron in the course of their Rhode Island Divorce Litigation. These people will file ridiculous unwarranted motions, misleading restraining orders, make outrageous settlement proposals and engage in unseemly and outrageous conduct. These people often believe that the judge will only listen to the testimony at trial concerning the marriage and make a decision on the Merits of the testimony only AT TRIAL.
WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Perception is reality! You cannot un-ring a bell. People including judges are human. If the judge just witnessed (with his or her own two eyes) you or your Rhode Island divorce attorney acting on your behalf acting like a moron during the course of the divorce or child custody case and then your husband testifies that you are IN FACT an ass, then it is likely that the judge will believe you are in FACT an ASS.
If you acted like a jerk during your divorce litigation, the judge is likely to believe that you acted like a jerk in your marriage!
The judge will make findings and decisions accordingly and they probably will not be in your favor! You claim that you are not verbally abusive to your wife and you never committed domestic violence. Your wife says that you are a lying, abusive and controlling man! You take the stand and categorically deny all allegations and claim your wife is a greedy liar.
CREDIBILITY! CREDIBILITY! CREDIBILITY
But however, the judge saw you:
- lose your cool at a child support motion 5 months ago.
- The judge also remembers you misrepresenting your work schedule 8 months ago when he was determining a visitation schedule for your child.
- The judge recalls that you called your wife’s employer and accused her of being an alcoholic so she would lose her employment. There is nothing the judge could do about it at the time because of your first amendment rights, but the judge filed it away in a compartment in his brain.
- The judge or magistrate also remembers, that your wife’s RI divorce lawyer had made several reasonable settlement proposals and you were taking outrageous settlement positions which caused the case to drag on and on.
YOU gave the judge Exhibit A, B and C to find in favor of your wife at trial.
AND NOW, the judge has to make a decision and findings of fact as to whether you are abusive, controlling and have anger management issues. He has heard contradicting testimony at trial and how do you believe he will rule? If the judge believes your wife’s testimony that you conduct lead to the breakdown of the marriage then he can award you spouse a disproportionate share of the marital assets. The judge could also make an award of attorney fees in your wife or husband’s favor. A decision after a trial or testimonial hearing is an opportunity for the judge to wield a proverbial hammer.
I have seen many cases when there is contradictory testimony and it is unclear who is telling the truth but the tie breaker could be the perception of the judge. The Judge or family Court Magistrate could act as an unofficial and unstated witness as what the judge actually saw during the proceedings. I have seen many cases in which a party is punished at trial for their unseemly actions during the course of the divorce.
Of course the judge will never admit or state that his or her decisions was influenced by anything else then the testimony at trial but we as experienced Family Court Lawyers know how the real world of Providence Family Court works.
The take away of this post is that a divorce case is not a license to act like an unstable fool. Always maintain ethics and dignity, even in a divorce. Especially, becuase credibility is of utmost importance in Providence Family Court
“Two patterns emerge in table 6: for the NLSY79 cohort, (1) the probability of divorce decreases as educational attainment increases, and (2) the probability of divorce generally decreases as age at marriage increases. In addition, as shown in tables 3 through 5, college graduates marry at older ages than do people with less education. It may be the case that marrying at older ages decreased the chance of divorce for this cohort. In addition, some of the same personal or socioeconomic characteristics that help in the completing of a college degree may also help in maintaining a marriage.” United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/article/marriage-and-divorce-patterns-by-gender-race-and-educational-attainment.htm