Not only do you need to show up to divorce court ready to deal with the legal issues, you need to show up with the knowledge that the impression you make on the judge could play a role in the outcome of the trial. A judge will watch your every move and listen to your every word. You want to convey a positive message via your actions and words during divorce court. To prepare for your day in court consider the following:
- Dress Conservatively:
The world is full of women who think if they show a little cleavage or leg, their sex appeal will work in their favor. When going to court, nothing could be further from the truth. Leave your mini skirts and stiletto heels at home. The look you are going for is not provocative or trashy, not if you want to gain favor with the judge. Dress conservatively, wear knee length, skirts are dresses. Wear minimal make – up and jewelry.
- Don’t Bring The New Girl/Boyfriend to Court:
With no – fault divorce laws few states take into consideration whether the marriage ended due to infidelity or whether or not you have a new love interest. Just because it is not a legal consideration does not mean people will not think it improper behavior. If you need the support have your friend drop you off and pick you up after court.
- Turn off Cell Phones and Pagers:
We all want to stay in touch but a judge would consider a ringing cell phone to be disrespectful to his courtroom. If you are a doctor who is on call or in the middle of an emergency that requires you to keep your cell phone on, have your lawyer explain the situation to the judge before the trial begins.
- Be Mature:
Divorce court is no place to engage in conflict or childish displays of anger. Do not make faces or gestures at your husband, his attorney or the judge. Do not talk to your husband, dispute what he says or engage in anyway in the courtroom unless directed to by the judge. Check your foul language, chewing gum and tobacco at the door before you go into court.
- Show Respect:
Whether you like it or not, the judge holds your fate in his hands. Send him the message that you respect him and his courtroom. Always address the judge as “Your Honor.” If you must disagree with the judge preface your comments with, “With all due respect your honor.” When on the witness stand address the attorneys with, “yes sir and no sir.” You may not like the opposing counsel but they are an office of the court and have earned your respect in that setting.
- Don’t Become Emotional
Divorce is an emotional experience. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the judge wants to hear about how you are feeling emotionally. When it court keep your emotions in check and focus on the legal aspects of your divorce. Negative emotions can keep you from being able to concentrate and will impede your thinking. This can play a negative role in your ability to protect your legal rights. If you doubt being able to get through it emotionally ask your family doctor for medication to help you through the day.
- Be Organized
Know everything there is no know about your case. Be familiar with what issues will be discussed during court and how your attorney plans to deal with them. Bring all important information and documents that pertain to your case. Make sure it is well organized and easy to find should you need it.