When a family has reached the point where it can no longer remain together as a unit, a lot of decisions need to be made very quickly. In theory, this should be simple enough, but in practice, most families can’t even agree to disagree. That’s where the Family Court comes into the picture.
One of the most serious mistakes that most families make at this point is to attempt saving money by foregoing the chance to consult family law solicitors for assistance. In almost every case, this ends up being much more costly, because family law is actually so complicated that even the judges are sometimes stumped by it. It is almost never easy to decide the outcome of a family law case, but when judges are feeling lazy, there is a greater chance they will appear to be more generous towards mothers than fathers.
There have been many accusations of gender bias in the Family Court, but now you know the truth. It’s not bias, it’s laziness. The courts are too busy, judges want to be fair, but there’s not always time to devote to every case equally. As a result, some unfair decisions do get made. Having a lawyer helps to prevent such unfair conclusions being reached. The reason those unfair decisions generally go in favour of the mother is that this outcome is usually more socially acceptable and tolerated.
The requirement to have legal representation is important even if you are a mother. You can’t just assume you’re going to win your case based on your gender alone. No judge wants to be accused of bias, and the prevalence of bias has led to a situation where some judges may be particularly cautious about protecting their professional reputation.
The worst situation you can be in is where you do not have legal representation but your former spouse does have it. This would put you at a severe disadvantage, and however much a judge may try to impose a balance, the disadvantage is too great to overcome.
So you must be clever if you are faced with going to court. Trying to save a few pounds by doing it all yourself could cost you everything. You can find a solicitor who will help you to win your case.
Of course if you feel that a judge’s decision is wrong, you can appeal, but very few appeals are successful. To have a ruling overturned, it must be shown that the decision was not only unfair, but that the judge did not follow correct legal procedure, or that there were circumstances that the judge was not aware of and if he or she had been aware of them would have made a different ruling. An example would be where some fact was deliberately concealed, but it was not known that the fact was concealed until after the proceedings had been concluded.
Naturally, judges are reluctant to be critical of their colleagues unless they are very sure that there is compelling evidence suggesting that an error has been made. Relying on the chance of making a successful appeal in case of losing is almost as naïve as attempting to win a Family Law case without the help of a lawyer.
This is a guest post