How does the Judge decide what is right and fair in the Family Law Court?
The very first principle taught at law school is “the rule of law”. It’s the principle that we are all subject to and considered equal before the law. The Queen, the Prime Minister, the Judges … no one is above the law. If the current Prime Minister Scott Morrison were to separate from his wife, they would both receive the same Family Law Act treatment as anyone else.
The Federal Circuit Court, sitting in Victoria, hears most family law disputes. It is staffed by only seventeen Judges. Therefore, of the six million people in Victoria, only seventeen hold the power to determine parenting disputes and property rights after separation.
On any given day, the Judges make decisions which dramatically affect people’s lives. It’s a huge burden for them to carry. Making their decisions based on logic and the rule of law, rather than emotion or gut instinct, helps protect their emotional well-being. However, the law is in place to protect children and individuals in family law cases and do what is best for their well-being and future. We trust and respect the law, and we recommend that you do too.
‘The law is in place to protect children and individuals in family law cases and do what is best for their well-being and future.’
The Judges’ powers are immense, but also a burden. It only takes one party to activate the court’s jurisdiction, then the pressure is on the appointed Judge to act in accordance with the law and get it right. In family law, Judges’ must do what they can to ensure their decisions are intended to benefit the children they make orders about. When it comes to dividing property, their decisions must be legally fair.
Push against a Judge who is seeking to administer the law and they will push back twice as hard. They protect the law like a guard dog. Think you can be rude? You will be in contempt and out the door. Think you can outsmart them? Unlikely. They are probably the smartest person in the room. Don’t like the outcome? It’s too late as they are already considering the next case.
Therefore, be polite and respectful always. Stand when the Judge enters. Never turn your back. And above all … bow.
The lawyers at Waters Lawyers are very polite and respectful. We’re polite and respectful not only to the Court, but to you too. It’s all about believing in and supporting you. This is a skill we practice every day.
Think you might need a family lawyer but not sure where to start? Our first consultation is free so we can help guide you in the right direction. For an honest evaluation of your situation, contact us today on (03) 5996 1600.
By Simon Varszeghy