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Divorce Truths - The Ruling
As abruptly as everything in life ends, so will your trial. When the judge makes his feelings known at the end of a contested divorce trial, it is often difficult to grasp the finality. It's over. The relief you will feel is yet to come. You should expect to be overwhelmed by a vast array of conflicting emotions. Some judges will rule from the bench with no hesitation. They will request the attorney for the "winning party" to take down the Order, prepare it, submit it to opposing counsel for review, and then to the judge for signature. This gives the attorneys a chance to ask for clarification of any issues that are confusing. It also gives the attorneys the opportunity to remind the judge of anything that has been omitted.
If the trial has been especially contentious, or they are a lot of documents to review and everyone (including the judge) is exhausted, some judges may elect to have more time to reflect on the evidence. They may not rule at the conclusion of the trial, but rather will mail their decision after a few days. This is not an indication of anything negative or positive. Many judges do this. All the effort has ended. Everything that could be done was done to persuade the judge to see your side of the issues. Your attorney did his job well, as did you. You will now second-guess every single word and question to the end of time. Unfortunately, it will not change the drama that unfolded in court. Perceptions, intuitions, evaluations, conclusions - all the mental images formed by the judge throughout your trial have culminated in forming the final decisions. The judge brought his values to bear upon your life after only perhaps a few hours. You are left with the result. He has told you what your tomorrows are going to be like.
Rarely, will a judge award everything to one party. They balance the equities and inequities-- just like the scales of justice. You should not expect the judge to cut a parent out of a child's life, no matter how horrible a parent you believe them to be. You should not expect to receive every penny in every account, no matter how much money your spouse has squandered during the marriage.
Your attorney has prepared you to be realistic in your expectations, particularly in a long marriage where lives, money, and family were entwined on a daily basis for so many years. You have discussed the why and the why not. Even if you don't like the outcome, you knew of its possibility. It was the probability you were fighting against. You came into court asking a stranger wearing a robe to make these life decisions that you and your spouse could not make. Every relevant detail of your married life was explained. The legal and emotional presentation of your evidence was carefully crafted.
As you know now, divorce is a process with all roads leading to the final day. The uncertainty and unknown interpretation by the judge was what you wanted to avoid. Your loss of control over the judge's thoughts is what you and your attorney attempted to minimize through countless hours and costs of preparation. Hopefully, you were successful. Now will you think differently about how to approach your divorce? Have your opinions changed? Has it given you positive ideas on actions to take?
This is your divorce which will affect your life. Act now, while you can bring about a change.
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