Do You Need to be Rational in Your Family Law Case?

Are you rational? If you ask this question to most people you will get a resounding yes. After all, we all want to be perceived as making rational choices and decisions. This is especially true when it comes to family law. Family law is full of emotions and challenges that often leave people making less than rational choices.

A quick definition of “rational” will give us some direction: based on reason or logic. Now, think of a contentious custody case. Think of a fight over child support. Think of the fights over personal property or real estate. Do you think most people approach these decisions, fights and challenges in a rational manner? More often than not the answer is no!

Take this thought one step further. Is the judge in the case making a rational decision? Think of the same scenarios as above and put yourself in the shoes of the judge. Do you think the judge is making a rational decision? The answer is “it depends.” It depends on whether you like the outcome…However, that doesn’t tell us whether the judge was rational in his/her decision.

The first question to ask is why does it matter? The law presupposes that judges are unbiased in their decisions. Unbiased means showing no prejudice for or against something. I think we all agree that we want our judges to make informed, learned and unbiased decisions. Thus, I contend, an unbiased decision is a rational decision. Again I think we all would agree that we would prefer judges making decisions based on reason and logic instead of a “gut feeling” or some random event like a “flip of the coin.”

The second question to answer after establishing that we do, in fact, want judges and parties to make rational decisions, is how can you tell if a judge is rational? How can you tell if a person is being rational? This is especially true when it comes to emotional family law cases. How we determine rationality is a topic we will address in another post.

Suffice it to say that whenever we handle a family law case we operate from the belief that everything we do in the case, from working with a client to convincing a judge needs to be based on solid, rational decisions. That makes us different from other lawyers and firms. We believe we can measure the inputs and outputs of a case to a degree that provides the court, the experts and the parties with the most rational options available under the law. If you want to make sure you are resolving your case in a rational manner contact the Justice Legal Group at 505-880-8737 or email us at We would be happy to analyze your situation with you!