Preparing for Court

The Court Room is one of the most intimidating places you will ever be.

Once you have entered into the Court Room you will have given control of your divorce to someone you have never seen or met before - the Judge. And now, you no longer have control. All decisions will now be made by a stranger. A very human stranger who is, not unlike you or I, prone to mood swings, illogical thinking, feelings of superiority, and contempt for anyone that stands before him or her.

Scary isn't it. Well it is. But it doesn't have to be.

The following are some tips to help prepare you for the Court Room:

  1. Do not expect the Judge to make the "right" decision. There are three directions the judge can go when making a decision: Your way, your spouse's way, or the Judge's way. As you can see, two out three are not in your favor.
  2. Try to settle as many issues as possible before entering the Court Room. See Tip #1.
  3. If you are represented by an attorney, do not speak unless asked to do so by the Judge.
  4. When addressing the Judge call him/her "Your Honor." The position and role in our country's court system deserves respect.
  5. Always thank the Judge when you are finished speaking. Always be respectful, see above.
  6. Never speak to or make comments to your opposition when you are before the Judge.
  7. Leave all hostile and negative emotions at the court room door. Do not make faces or gestures when the Judge or your spouse's attorney is speaking. Judges see this and many do not appreciate it.
  8. Dress appropriately. Your attorney will have a certain strategy on how he or she wants you to be portrayed. Therefore, consult your attorney on how he or she wants you to dress.
  9. Take notes. Don't leave anything to chance. Your attorney will be very busy during the process and cannot remember or write everything down.
  10. Do not take children into the Court Room unless told to do so by your attorney. This is your divorce not your children's and they should not be present in a court room.
  11. Be prepared. Bring as much information, documentation and any pertinent documents that you possibly can with you. It is better to have too much ammunition than to be caught short.
  12. Bring a book or magazine to read as you might have a long wait before your case is heard.