Family law cases can be extremely emotional, especially when they involve children. In some instances, showing your emotion can be a benefit because it shows the Judge, attorneys and opposing party how strongly you feel about a particular issue. Other times, however, particularly in a courtroom, it is important to keep your emotions under control, or at least present them in a calmer way so that they do not come off as disrespectful to the Judge and opposing attorney/party. This can be particularly difficult, especially when the opposing party’s actions in the case have brought strong emotions to the surface.
In a recent case, Christina Sanchez, who has an eight-year-old child with New York Mets star Jose Reyes was kicked out of the courtroom after an emotional outburst. Mother of Jose Reyes’ love child thrown out of courtroom, by Emily Smith, nypost.com, June 5, 2017. Sanchez was testifying in the child support modification case when, according to her own attorney, “Christina had an emotional outburst in court. She raised her voice at Reyes’ attorney, saying of his client, ‘He’s a terrible father. He abandoned our child. He refuses to talk to her or see her.’ Christina was crying hysterically.” After the disturbance, the Judge threw her out of the courtroom and forbade her from returning.
Sanchez has good reason to be angry and emotional about this case – she and Reyes had a two year relationship that only ended when he married his current wife without her knowledge. In addition, Reyes allegedly cut off child support at one point and now pays a court ordered temporary amount. Sanchez wants to increase this amount, as Reyes earns an estimated $30 million/per year and has an unknown amount of money in the bank. (He reportedly refuses to turn over evidence of his assets.) While an emotional outburst is certainly warranted under the circumstances, the courtroom is not the proper place for it. Further, yelling at the opposing attorney is disrespectful and will not be tolerated by a Judge, and can sometimes even hurt rather than benefit, your case. Sanchez may have had other important things to testify about, but she could no longer do so at this hearing.
If you are involved in a highly emotional case, it is important to get your emotions out, but make sure you do it in the proper forum. Even if that means screaming into a pillow before going into court – that’s better than yelling at someone in the courtroom! That being said, there is nothing wrong with crying in the courtroom, or showing/explaining how you feel in a respectful way. Just remember – allowing your emotions to present as disrespect in the courtroom can actually hurt your case in the long run.