The Law Center

Know your Strengths and Weaknesses

The opposing litigant, the lawyer, and witnesses aren’t your friend.   And just because your friends and family love you and want to support you, doesn’t mean that they’re always helpful.   The other side is there at court to present evidence against you and ask for something different than what you want.   However polite or even friendly the other side is outside of court, remember that when your case is called, they’re going to be telling the judge why you shouldn’t get what you want.  You’re in litigation. 

Generally, it’s not a good idea to get into conversations with the other side or any of their supporters, even when you know them. The danger is that you’ll end up in an argument or become upset that they’re not on your side.   You wanna go into court calm and focused, instead of agitated and upset over a discussion in the waiting room.

Lets talk about Your support network:    Just because someone loves and supports you doesn’t mean they’re necessarily helpful.   Friends and family are beside you because they want to help. However they can be so busy telling you what you want to hear, that its difficult for you to see the case clearly or objectively. The judge is impartial, so it’ll hurt your case if you can’t be reasonable and objective too.

Some supporters feel their job is to tell you how right you are and how wrong or terrible the other person is.   Many supporters think they’re letting you down if they don’t encourage you to keep fighting and never give up.  However, more often than not, the “never-say-die attitude” can keep you from considering good compromises and settlement proposals.   Don’t ever feel that compromising or working with your ex means that you’re letting friends or family down by giving up.   A reasonable settlement outside of court is usually a lot better than having a judge decide for you.

You need to be focused, not agitated, while you preparing for your case.  A friend’s not a friend if they only rile you up with hate or anger.  A good supporter tells you to remain calm, focus on what’s most important to you, and not to sweat the small stuff.   Friends help friends solve problems, see the painful truth, and help you make hard choices.  If your supporters aren’t helpful that way, then don’t discuss your case with them, and don’t bring them to court.

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