Mindset in the Courtroom
Your mindset during a high-conflict divorce is so important - it can really make all the difference. The faster we adopt the right mindset, the better we can build our case in a way that is receptive to family court professionals
Let’s break it down…
You go through a horrible separation with a cluster B or a high conflict personality, and suddenly the rug is swept from under you, and your partner of X number of years has now made you the enemy. The fact is that during marriage, a person could experience all kinds of abuse that usually intensifies after separation like post separation abuse, legal, emotional, physical and financial abuse.
So what happens in response? The first thing the healthy parent wants to do is desperately run to the courthouse to plead their case and get their justice to protect themselves and their children. It's completely understandable why they want to do that. They want to explain to the judge who they're up against and why their case is a high-conflict one. That approach, as appealing as it may sound, is unfortunately not realistic.
We need to remember that what is acceptable in family court can be very different from what parents consider fair for their children. That all feels very unfair and demotivating, but it is the reality of our world. I completely empathize with how parents feel. All children deserve the best and whatever any challenges or difficulties a child is going through is equally hurtful, painful and wrong. The more we shift our perspective and work with this reality and not against it, we can start to build our case in such a manner that is receptive to the family court.
We need to adopt a different perspective. We need to see it from the eyes of the family court professionals. The family court doesn't know the details of our lives, the complexities of our relationships, or the emotional rollercoaster we've been on. It took the healthy parent a long time to see behind the narcissist's mask, so expecting the courthouse to to fully understand the situation within one hearing, is not going to happen. The truth is, the courts don't know either party personally and all they read and see is he said/she said. In their eyes, both parties are high conflict and both parties’ words carry equal weight, until someone is proven dishonest.
It's on us to come up with the evidence. Even the judge's hands are legally tied if we don't provide the right pieces of evidence in front of them. So, to build a strong case and to secure the best possible position, we need to have a clear strategic mindset. To develop a strategic mindset, we need to first try our absolute best to eliminate emotions from the equation.
I understand that it's really hard not to be emotional during this process. A lot is at stake. Your children, your home and your finances! It's everything you are. And for someone to come to you right now and ask you to “just not be emotional” is unempathetic. I know I'm asking for a lot. I know that when nature designed us to protect our children; but then our hands are tied, this can absolutely affect us emotionally at a deep core level and it's not easy. This is why you will need the support from your loved ones coupled with the knowledge and guidance of someone who really understands the process - especially if your case is complicated. You will need this support to process your emotions in a safe and non judgmental space, so that you are able to conserve your energy, time and money for what matters most.
As you face these challenges, remember to manage your emotions, focus on what's in your control and be prepared to run that marathon in family court. With the right mindset, you will have a greater chance to achieving a better outcome. :)