Failing to follow the recommendations of any professional throughout the divorce process could have undesired consequences. Depending on your court case, your lawyer, appointed judge and other professionals, you may not like the outcomes that are either insisted up on inflicted upon you. This is particularly importance in parenting cases where the suitability of each parent is determined and time with children isn’t guaranteed. While the courts encourage the involvement of both parents, there is a significant amount of case law that is supporting the quality of time rather than the quantity of time with each parent.
Medical professionals – If you have been to hospital or under the care of a medical professional, take their advice and follow their recommendations to the letter. Your records with your GP, psychologist/therapist, hospital and other relevant professionals may be subpoenaed. These professionals will note whether you were “discharged against medical advice” or consistently taking medication or attending appointments as requested. They will also note whether there is a marked improvement. It’s also obvious to see in the notes whether there is self-reporting (the patient telling the professional) or observational reporting (the professional noting changes).
Legal professionals – Your legal team ae the most experienced people in your divorce. They have a duty to do as you ask, however, you also have a duty to follow their advice. If your lawyer say “don’t email your ex-partner” and yet you keep emailing your ex-partner and it causes greater problems for your case, then your lawyer can dismiss you from their services for not following their recommendation. Take head to the recommendations. If you don’t agree, then talk with your lawyer (or get a professional second opinion) and find some appropriate common ground.
Family Report recommendations – Often a family report is done earlier in the court process. The purpose of this report is to assess whose affidavit “checks out,” the basis of the concerns between the parties and to make suitable recommendations for the Judge. Sometimes the family report is strongly opinionated and other times, the report writer is more neutral. There will be recommendations or queries made. Make all effort to appease these concerns by attending to them in an appropriate matter. For instance, if the sobriety of an individual is questioned, then make in-roads with AA, drug and alcohol services, or other similar services for your self-improvement and to better the situation for a more favourable outcome.
Judges recommendations – Your judge may order your attendance at a parenting course, anger management course, to a psychiatrist or other such course/professional for a very fair reason – to get the unbiased perspective on your behaviour, attitude and situation. For instance, a judge may order your attendance at a supervised contact centre to see your children. This request may be just as much for your benefit (if you are the person having to attend) because it may disprove what the children’s other parent is claiming. Similarly, a judge will not look kindly to you blatantly going against their requests (say, withdrawing funds from an account which you were ordered to not access).
Don’t dismiss your Judge’s, lawyer’s or other professional’s (including your accountant) recommendations. If you take heed to the advice, it will certainly contribute towards a stronger case. However, be warned if you choose to go against the professional’s opinion or request and, if you do, make sure you have a strong case for doing so.