In this episode, we’ll discuss tips for when you’re going to court for divorce, whether it’s for a hearing or for a trial. If you will be going in front of a judge for your divorce, you should be prepared. Try to avoid making some of the most common mistakes with these tips:
1) Real court is not like television.
2) Dress appropriately
3) Show up early, but expect to wait.
4) There are time limits.
5) Not everything you may want to cover is legally relevant.
6) Answer questions truthfully.
7) Don’t do something dumb in the heat of the moment.
Court is not glamorous or exciting. Don’t expect it to be like television shows.
It is important to dress appropriately so that you make a good impression. Dress business professional, like you would for a job interview at a large corporation.
It can take time to find parking and get through security, so allow ample time. Arrive at least half an hour in advance. Even if you are on time, you may have to wait to be seen.
Every court has rules as to how it proceeds. For example, in Dallas, one court gives each side twenty or thirty minutes to present their case, and that’s all. You should ask your attorney or the courthouse in advance how long you will actually have. You need to be efficient.
You need to know what is important when it comes to your case. Details of what happened during your marriage will not necessarily be relevant. For example, in some cases, infidelity will have no impact on spousal support, so there is no reason to discuss infidelity while you are discussing spousal support.
If you are asked a question by anyone in the courtroom, answer truthfully. Don’t lie, because often whatever you say will be part of a permanent record, so it can cause problems for you later.
When you are in court, there are a lot of emotions tied in. You may have adrenaline going, or get set off by something your ex says. You may find yourself flustered or have an urge to do something that will ultimately be unhelpful to you. Don’t say or do anything you might regret.
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Thank you for listening!