Court Behaviour in family law cases

Court Behaviour – A person’s conduct in the Courtroom can impact upon the outcome of the case!!

Court behaviour, in particular, what is appropriate behaviour in court, is very important for you to understand if you are having to go to the family court.  

“Put me in the corner and I’ll come out swinging” is a phrase that may be heard when a person is challenged in some way. However, this kind of attitude is very definitely not appropriate for court.  All evidence before the court, including the actual court behaviour of parties before a court, can be taken into account by the court when making determinations effecting those parties and their children. A person’s court behaviour can affect the amount of credit a Judge gives to the statements or information that person is providing.

Contact our experienced family lawyers Brisbane and family lawyers North Brisbane (Ph.: 07 3506 3651) for advice about court behaviour or any family law issues. We can assist you whether or not your matter is in court. If you are in court, we can also assist you with how to best present your case.  We provide free family law advice during your first call with our Firm. We also provide fixed family law fees for your initial consultation with our Brisbane family lawyers and North Brisbane family lawyers.  We can meet wiht you atour Grange 4051 office or at our Brisbane CBD office. We can also generally provide fixed price family law fees for work that you may require us to do. You are welcome too to read on for further information about how to conduct yourself when you are in court……………….

It is very important that when you enter the courtroom, your court behaviour is appropriate and that you maintain an impartial demeanour. Put simply, we mean – keep a straight face! Where people are involved in a court case, by the time that the parties come to a trial if not before, they may find it very difficult to be near their former partner.  If this is your situation, do remember that particularly when you are before the court, you must not make any face at your former partner or have any response to any comment that your former partner may make except where it is appropriate whilst you may be giving evidence in court.

In a recent Case which appeared before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia at Melbourne,  Genesalio & Genesalio [2018] FCCA 3458 the court behaviour of one party led the presiding Judge, His Honour Judge Wilson, to use that behaviour to prefer evidence of the other party.

The matter involved an Application of the Wife to have sole occupation of the house where the parties and their children resided during the marriage, meaning that the Husband would have to move out and live elsewhere. The Husband sought that the Wife’s application be dismissed on the basis of various grounds including medical reasons.

There was a concurrent matter before a different Court involving the parties relating to domestic and family violence, with each party making accusations about the other. The matter was yet to be heard and so no findings had been made about who was the main initiator of the conflict and violence.

During the matter before Judge Wilson in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the court behaviour of the Husband was repeatedly inappropriate with the husband making hostile outbursts which the Judge observed. His Honour commented that the evidence of violence in the case was untested (not established or proven). However, in those circumstances and given the pervading family violence, it was necessary for the court to make orders designed to protect the children.

His Honour remarked that:

“That tended to confirm to me his highly volatile disposition and it rendered more probable that he was a person given to violent outbursts in the way alleged by the wife. That fortified my position that his continued presence in the home should not be allowed irrespective of the consequences might follow from that, none of which were particularly probative nor persuasive to my way of thinking”.

In observing the court behaviour of the Husband, the Judge was lead to prefer the evidence of the Wife. In order to protect the children from exposure to the conflict and violence, the Judge ordered that the Husband relocate from the marital residence.

The Courts and some Government funded legal organisation provide guides on the courtroom process and appropriate court behaviour and dress. A useful guide can be found on the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website titled “first court event”.

If you are thinking of obtaining a divorce or require assistance to finalise a property settlement or parenting matters or advice regards court behaviour, contact our experienced divorce lawyers  Brisbane or North Brisbane divorce Lawyers at LGM Family Law.

You are welcome to the benefit of free family law advice during your initial call with our Firm. We also provide a fixed fee family law consultation and can generally offer fixed price family law advice depending upon your circumstances.

This blog provides information but is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you consult our Firm for advice from a family lawyer tailored to your circumstances.