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Q: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce ( No Answer,   5 Comments )
Subject: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: amartin75-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 11 Jul 2006 17:47 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2006 10:00 PDT
Question ID: 745451
What is the likelihood of being able to influence a judge's decision
in a no-fault divorce?

Case Type: Dissolution of Marriage (General Jurisdiction).
Location: department CE2D at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA
90012 Trial-Court-Short Cause )

Here is the planned statement by the wife in this case (names changed
to protect the "innocent" involved):

===Begin Planned Statement===

To: Honorable Judge

The following remarks are a brief description of events leading to my
separation/divorce from Bob H. Roosevelt.

1. Our separation started on July 1 2005.  The separation began
because of Bob's adulterous affair with a woman at his work.  He told
me only because he had contracted genital herpes.  A reconciliation is
out of the question because of the disease and his infidelity.  I have
always been faithful to Bob.

2. I have been living in our home and have paid all taxes, insurance
and mortgage payments-except for money from our joint checking account
which is gone as of approx. January 2006.  Bob has claimed more than
once that the house wasn't his.

3. The only income I have is from my part-time job in the Pismo Beach
School District.  I receive no benefits or sufficient income for
housing.  The only way I can live on my small income is that the house
be turned over to me and Bob provide me with reasonable

I am concerned about the future.  If Bob remarries, I believe support
from him will be difficult to obtain.  Please consider the remarks in
my interest.
Thank you.


Martha Roosevelt

===End Planned Statement==

What is the likelihood of even being able to address the judge in such matters?

Request for Question Clarification by hedgie-ga on 12 Jul 2006 12:06 PDT
I will not post this as an answer, since GA does not give legal advice.
 But an advice based on non-legal realities of life is perhaps allowed:

  If they will have 
 "able to have an audience with the judge at all"

 is up to them.  But if they both have any sense, they will make a reasonable
 agreement of division of property, and if they agree, and is it fair, court
 will jst order that - without a hearing.

It is not clear who is asking, man or wife - and why wife is a respondent,
BUT who paid all taxes, insurance .. is irrelevant, guilt is mostly irrelevant
 and to expect lifetime income if both spouses are able to work and not very
 rich is unrealistic.

 In most cases, you divide 50/50 what you have, and try to remain friends.

 If you will listen to (most) lawyers, the division will be (probably)
  30 - 20  -50   for  woman and man and the lawyers - and you will not end 
as friends.

 Get yourself a book (consumer guide, Nolo press ..) and just have lawyer
for each side to proofread the agreement. Do not let him to torpedo it.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 12 Jul 2006 12:45 PDT

In a contested divorce (that is, where the two parties do not agree on
the division of property, financial arrangements, custody, etc), you
most certainly should have an opportunity to make a request for the
type of financial arrangement you feel is proper.

However, the courts generally have forms and procedures for this, and
also tend to involve the parties in mediation, prior to actually
coming before the judge.

If you can, please let us know how far along in the process you are,
what has happened -- procedurally -- to date, and what "Bob" has had
to say about your proposed financial arrangements.

Also let me know if you are working with a lawyer, or going through
the process on your own.

In the mean time, I will look into California procedures in more
detail to see what I can find out for you.

All the best,


Clarification of Question by amartin75-ga on 12 Jul 2006 13:16 PDT
Only three of the four people involved in this case have cooperated
with each-other.  Bob, his lawyer, and Martha's lawyer.  Martha is
being completely uncooperative, to the point of obstruction.  Her goal
is to keep this thing running on and on so she can keep on the using
Bob's medical insurrance (Bob isn't the sharpest tool in the shed by
allowing this, I realize, but Bob also thinks he has a heart of gold).

In March, a judge set a future hearing date to take place this month
with the stipulation that both parties attempt to work out the
division of property with themselves.  Martha chose not participate in
the attempt to come to an agreement, but in due diligence, her lawyer
put together a proposal in order to fulfill the judge's requirement. 
She wouldn't agree to it, thinking that she'll have better luck trying
to convince the judge to give her a better deal by means of this
planned statement.

She's in her own little world, and I have a feeling she'll have a rude
awakening when her day in court comes around.

I think that's as detailed as I care to get since so much of this is
public record anyway.

Again, I'm really just looking for some example of either party
side-stepping their lawyer so that they can address the judge to sway
the decision in their favor.  As stated, guilt is irrelevant, paying
taxes and insurance is irrelevant.  No kids, no estate except for an
overpriced house in middle-class California.

To me, this seems futile, silly, and downright embarrassing to attempt.

Clarification of Question by amartin75-ga on 12 Jul 2006 13:23 PDT
Additional information from case summary:

02/08/2005 Summons-Family Law Filed by Petitioner 
04/11/2005 Response Filed by Respondent 
05/09/2005 Declaration-Serv Pre Dec Dis Inc 
11/15/2005 Request-Trial Setting 
03/01/2006 Declaration-Serv Final Decl of Dis

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 12 Jul 2006 18:04 PDT

Is your question, specifically, whether Martha will be able to orally
read her statement before the judge?

She almost certainly would be able to bring the statement to the
attention of the judge, even if only as a declaration, brief,
response, or other document filed in the case.

I'm not clear if you're looking for examples of such filings, or if
the key to your question has to do with oral presentation?

Please advise...



Clarification of Question by amartin75-ga on 12 Jul 2006 20:14 PDT
Yes, I wanted to know if she could indeed make her statements.  But I
also wanted to know if such an attempt could influence the judge to
decide in favor of her.

Case filings and/or transcripts presented would be ideal.

Request for Question Clarification by hedgie-ga on 13 Jul 2006 05:04 PDT
If you want to know California procedures, the best source is:

How to Do Your Own Divorce in California
by Attorney Charles E. Sherman

which you should read in any case.

Last comment / really a suggestion rather then an answer re:

" I have a feeling she'll have a rude
awakening when her day in court comes around... "

 Usually both parties end up with a rude awakening after the battle is over.
 Ambrose Bierce defined a lawsuit as
 "a machine which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage." ...

 Her statement as it is now, is pretty bad. But if you both stay in
 the current judgemental view of each other, 

" She's in her own little world, and  .."

and avoid mediation (which is not mandatory), that position may change
 - that what she is paying her lawyer for.
  You can share the avove book with her, so that she would know what
is realistic and offer a compromise.

  I will now stop and leave the field to my knowledgeable collegue paf.

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
From: tutuzdad-ga on 11 Jul 2006 20:20 PDT
My guess is that when Bob H. Roosevelt reads that his alleged sexual
indiscretions and his private medical history are posted on a public
internet site that your current problems with the court will pale in
comparision to the civil and judicial miseries that await you.
Subject: Re: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
From: frde-ga on 12 Jul 2006 04:58 PDT
It always baffles me why women deserve alimony

A fair division of mutually acquired assets is obvious
- but the idea of paying for life is peculiar
Subject: Re: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
From: research_help-ga on 12 Jul 2006 06:02 PDT
Tutuzdad, if you read the question carefully, you would see that "names changed
to protect the "innocent" involved".  There is no identifiable private
information in this question.  Google Answers does not show the
customers actual name, just the screen name.  Tutuzdad, do you wish to
clarify your comment for the customer?
Subject: Re: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
From: amartin75-ga on 12 Jul 2006 08:15 PDT
Frde, I agree that it is baffling.  The respondent in this case (who
is the wife) is equally baffled by the whole thing.  She is getting
advice from someone out of state that she should be able to get the
judge to decide in her favored because she was wronged.  Obviously
there's confusion as to what "no-fault" means.

I would be baffled if she was even able to have an audience with the
judge at all.  I told her that if by some miracle, she manages to
influence the judge to give her what would probably amount to $400,000
in her favor, there would most certainly be an appeal.

So this is why I pose the question.  There are no kids.  Only the
house has monetary value.  She is otherwise unskilled, except for
being a teacher's aid for 20 years.  She thinks she's entitled to an
extraordinary decision because she was wronged.

A perfectly acceptable answer is to say that the likelihood is 0%, but
in addition, I'd be interested in any information about people who
have tried and failed at this same type of maneuver, if that
information is available.
Subject: Re: Influencing a Judge's Decision in a "No-Fault" Divorce
From: frde-ga on 14 Jul 2006 07:09 PDT
This smells to me like lawyers enriching each other

She could claim for Herpes, that is an annoying affliction, possibly
she could roll the two cases into one.

Something makes me suspect that Bob feels rather responsible

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