Too often, during a divorce action or custody battle, the man thinks he should show emotion and reactions to clue the court when the other side is lying. This does not work and actually causes him to appear unable to control himself. Too often, the woman gets away with the same behavior due to gender bias of expecting women not to be able to control their emotions. If both act this way, too often only the man is prejudiced. When just the man acts this way, he is thought to be every bit out of control as his wife or the mother of his child says he is. If just the woman acts this, eventually it goes against her too, depending on the extent of it.
Showing the court self control is most important, especially for the man. Knowing when not to speak is much more important than knowing the right thing to say. You have a lawyer, do not speak, let your lawyer speak for you. If you do think he or she is speaking up for you, consult with another lawyer and/or change lawyers, but do not speak for yourself when you have a lawyer. Do not constantly whisper in your lawyer’s ear or passing him or her notes while on the record in court. You will only cause your lawyer to miss what is being said that must be heard by him or her and addressed then. In other words, do not distract your lawyer from representing you vigilantly.
However you speak and act in your lawyer’s office is also how you will almost always behave in a courtroom. There is no such thing as: “I am just speaking/acting this way in your office.” Practice self-control 24/7. How you act and speak in the hallway of the courthouse will be seen and heard by many court staff who will probably tell your judge about your behavior. This is just how it is. Sometimes it is another lawyer in the hallway who tells your judge. Same thing applies for how you speak and act outside of the courthouse. There is time to vent later far away from the courthouse in private.
To cry uncontrollably in the courtroom or in the hallway will not make your spouse or the other parent feel guilty, it will only make you look pathetic and cause the other parent to look at you and be glad he or she is getting rid of you. It will also cause the judge to think you have control issues and may be an emotional riskto your child(ren). To cry at any level in the courtroom also is no good unless you are at risk of being sent to jail, or have your parental rights stripped from you. Look around you, no one else is acting this way. To be merely teary eyed at the right time won’t hurt you if limited and at the appropriate time.