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How Bad Is It If You Show Up Late to a Child Custody Hearing?


When you talk to your friends about your divorce, they try to make you feel better, but just as often, what they say makes things worse.  Your coworker probably meant well when he told you about the YouTube video he saw about a guy who arrived ten minutes late to a child custody hearing, and the judge issued a court order that left the guy with very little parenting time and a hefty child support bill, which eventually led to the court garnishing his paychecks.  The story is unverifiable, and we don’t know the background, but you can safely assume that it will not happen to you, and that there is time to change course if things seem to be heading in that direction.  Being on time for court appearances is a good idea, and if you are stuck in traffic, you should text your lawyer to say that you are on the way.  One single morning where nothing goes right will not make or break your divorce case, but the Boca Raton child custody lawyer you choose can have a big impact.

You Might Be Getting on the Judge’s Last Nerve, Even If the Court Has Not Held You in Contempt

If you disobey a court order, the court can hold you in contempt; this is true in family cases, as well as many other kinds of legal proceedings.  When the court holds you in contempt, the court can impose monetary fines and even sentence you to a brief jail term.  Meanwhile, you should not assume that just because the court has not issued a court-ordered parenting plan or held you in contempt of court that you are not wearing out the judge’s goodwill.

Judges are supposed to be unbiased, but they are human.  They base their decisions on the evidence you present, as well as how you behave during the pendency of your case.  If the judge has it in for you just because of your race, sexual orientation, profession, or any other characteristic unrelated to the case, the judge is being unfair, and you should request a different judge.

Your attitude and demeanor matter in court.  If you submit documents at the last minute or come to court unprepared, you will send the message that you do not take your case seriously.  If the statements you make in court make it sound like you blame the breakdown of your marriage and any problems your children are having entirely on your ex, you are sending the message that you do not acknowledge responsibility for your mistakes.  Of course, judges know that it is normal for people to feel angry and hurt about divorce.  In other words, your patterns of behavior are obvious to the judge, and it pays to make a good impression.

Contact Schwartz | White About Rising to the Occasion During Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you resolve disputes related to your divorce and parenting plan, even when you are angry and stressed.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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