Divorce Court Room Tips
At some point in time during your divorce you will likely have to go to court. It may be for a motion, an order to show cause or attend your non-contested divorce hearing. However, if your divorce is going to trial than you will definitely be spending time in the court room, in front of a judge which can be very intimidating. Once you have entered this phase of your case you will have given control of your divorce over to the Judge. All decisions will now be made by him or her.
The following are some tips to help prepare you for a divorce court appearance:
- Don't be late. This seems pretty obvious, but really arrive on time. It's all about respect.
- Leave your attitude at home. Do not make faces or gestures when the judge or your spouse's attorney is speaking. Judges see this and do not appreciate it.
- Dress appropriately. I'm sure you've heard the expression "You can't judge a book by its cover". Unfortunately some judges just might. Why take the chance. Men should wear slacks, a jacket and a tie. Women should wear a skirt or dress slacks and a modest blouse. There is no place in the court room for jeans, shorts, revealing clothes or flip flops. If you aren't sure how to dress consult your attorney on how he/she wants you to dress.
- If you have an attorney do not speak unless asked to do so by the Judge.
- "Your Honor" is the appropriate (only) way to address the Judge.
- Always thank the Judge when you are finished speaking. Always be respectful.
- Only speak when you are spoken to. Never speak to or make comments to your opposition when you are before the Judge. If you need to communicate with your divorce attorney write it on a notepad.
- Take notes. Don't leave anything to chance. Your attorney will be very busy during the process and cannot remember or write everything down. Keep your court room notes to refer back to if you can't remember something. This will be cheaper than calling your attorney to refresh your memory.
- Do not take children or your whole family into the court room unless told to do so by your attorney. This is your divorce not your children's and they should not hear what goes on in that room. If you feel you need moral support pick one person to bring with you. It should go without saying that person should NOT be your new boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Be prepared. Bring any relevant documents with you. It is better to have too much ammunition than not enough.
- Bring a book to read as you might have a long wait before your case is heard.
Additional Divorce Resources and Information:
Directory of Attorneys
Directory of Mediators
Directory of Divorce Services
Tips For Testifying In Court
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