When you are involved in a family court matter, particularly a contested dispute in family court, reality and truth will serve you well. Fictional reality and engineered truth will not serve you well. The family court’s goal is to make findings based in reality and truth; consequently, the party seeking to engineer the truth, or establish a fictional reality, is likely to lose the battle.
The family court can best learn the facts about a case by hearing the observations and recommendations of a neutral professional. The family court can best be misled about the reality of a case by basing its findings strictly on the mud slung by the parties at each other in affidavits filed with the court. When one parent wants to bring down the other parent, by filing affidavits of family members and neighbors, or bringing family members and neighbors into court to testify on the record, they are probably trying to establish a fictional reality – a reality that would not bear out if a neutral professional were to render their own observations. If what family members and neighbors have to say really is the truth, then those facts can and should be borne out by the work of a neutral professional.
If you don’t have the facts on your side, it can be an exhausting, expensive and fruitless task to try to pull one over on the court. As an example, an abusive or chemically dependent parent, who pretends not to be, will likely be found out by the court. On the flip side, if Parent A suffers from anxiety or depression, but Parent B brings in family members to testify that Parent A is in fact psychotic, Parent B is attempting to establish a fictional reality that should not prevail. (Unfortunately, one who persists despite the fruitlessness creates protracted litigation that is costly to themselves, to the other party and to the family courts.) If you do have the facts on your side, which often means not seeking unrealistic relief from the court, chances are the task of bringing out the truth will be less exhausting, less expensive and less fruitless.
The need for the family court’s reliance on neutral professionals is easy to understand when you consider what a small snapshot the court gets of a case’s facts during the finite windows of time the court hears testimony. If the family court relies on a subjective, skewed version of truth (even sincerely presented by someone speaking under oath), the court’s ruling will not reflect reality.
Subject to the occasional, unfortunate exceptions, a good family court judge will cast aside fiction and manipulation, and rely on a good neutral professional to bear out the reality and the truth of the case.