“Be a good person” and “do the right thing” is not written in the law, but it is in the “subtext” of the law.
Child custody cases are unique in that being a “good person” actually makes a positive difference in the outcome of a case. A parent who is able to step outside themselves, wrestle with their bruised ego for the sake of the child, and has enough empathy to see the other parent’s point of view will take the moral high ground — which is a very advantageous position. Taking the moral high ground is counterintuitive and requires a good counselor or guide to show the way.
Criminal law, personal injury and virtually every single area of litigation usually involve figuring out what happened in the past. Custody cases are unique because the present matters in that the most important parenting, from the Court’s point of view, usually occurs during the case when the parents are under a microscope. Being aware of this gives me as a practitioner the ability to truly counsel people to do the right thing under the most difficult of circumstances.