Active vs Passive Divorce Judges

As a busy divorce lawyer I practice in front of all of the matrimonial judges in my county. There are some judges that are known to be very accommodating to adjournment requests, there are some judges who are fast to render decisions, and there are some judges who at conferences will make it very clear what they think of each side's position in the case on custody, child support or property issues.

Some judges are what I call active judges. They tell you whether in chambers or in the open courtroom what they think of each parties' position or argument and they do so in a manner in which there is no doubt as to how they would rule based on the information then made available.

There are judges when I leave their chambers I know exactly what they are thinking, sometimes even if they don't say it. It could be a doubtful look or a scornful or disbelieving look and you know if you are judge smart what that means. It could be a comment, "that's ridiculous" or "you better get your client to settle" that leaves no doubt.

There are also judges who handle almost all of their conferences in the courtroom with the clients present. Those active judges want to cut through issues to try to bring prompt guidance and resolution to the case. If the client or attorney is unprepared, watch out as they have little tolerance for lack of knowledge or documents. Those judges get things done and try to bring clients to partial agreements in the courtroom.

It is best to always be prepared and to have a matrimonial lawyer who knows how each judge likes to work. That knowledge can be vital because the good lawyers know what the judges think on many issues even before they step inside the courtroom.