Family Court Will Not Help a Person to Feel Better

By M. J. Goodwin

I believe that Family Court is, in many ways, a necessary evil. Without it, people would not be able to divide assets, get child support, protect children or move on with their lives in a variety of bad situations. With the possible exception of adoption cases, most of what is done in Family Court is unpleasant. But necessary. A big mistake I have seen over and over again for the past 22 years is the notion some folks seem to have that “winning” in Family Court is going to make all that pain and unpleasantness go away. This notion is flawed on two levels. First, there is seldom a clear “winner” in any Family Court case. Most cases involve horrible issues of divorce, physical violence, child abuse, not enough money and a myriad of various ill-will and misery. In most contested cases, the parties spend thousands of dollars to get a resolution that could have been reached via compromise much more cost effectively. So, from that standpoint, by the time the case goes to trial, there is no “winner.” The other flaw to this notion is that the Court is not equipped to help anyone “feel better.” The pain is going to be there regardless of the outcome in Court. The pain has to be dealt with outside the Courtroom or it will continue to cause problems for a long time. A good lawyer will tell the client that his or her job is not to help the client “feel better” or even to tell the client what the client wants to hear. A good lawyer’s job is to represent the client’s interest to the best of his or her ability, with admissible evidence, and get the best possible legal outcome for the client.



Leave a Comment