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5 Ways To Prepare For Your Appearance in Family Court


Is there anything you can do before your court appearance to help you retain the best results possible?

There is much uncertainty and most people have a lot on the line, and this combination can produce anxiety in even the calmest of people.

I suggest paying attention to the following 5 areas to help you to maximize your chances of having a successful court experience.

 1. Try To Get Enough Sleep The Night Before Court

Going to court can be an anxiety producing experience. There is much uncertainty and most people have a lot on the line -- this combination can produce anxiety in even the calmest of people.

Try to help yourself minimize the anxiousness by getting a good nights sleep before your court date. This is similar to tactics that some college students use, when they prepare for a test well in advance and then leave little or nothing to study the night directly before the exam. This method often helps them get a better night's sleep, thus allowing them to perform at a heightened level during their test the next day.

The same thing applies to you the night before going to court. Try to have all your questions discussed with your lawyer in advance so that you are able to relax the night before court.

 2. Dress Respectfully And Appropriately

How to dress in court is a matter for you to discuss with your particular attorney. My view usually is that people should dress in court respectfully but not too inconsistently with the way they normally dress.

For example, if I am representing a corporate executive who normally wears a suit and tie to work, I usually recommend that this person dresses similarly in court.

However, if I am representing a homebuilder who normally wears jeans and work boots, I may recommend that this person wear something a little more upscale so that he looks neat and appropriate, but not artificially overdressed.

 3. Meet With Your Lawyer In Advance

Family Court cases tend to be dynamic, not static. What I mean by that is that Family Court cases involve people in various emotional states, doing many things at once, and interacting across the whole spectrum of relationships and activities. This often causes a situation where during a divorce, things change. It is very important that you keep your lawyer apprised as to the changing facts or else you might find yourself in a situation where your lawyer is arguing for you in court based upon facts that used to exist as opposed to perhaps different facts that exist as of right now.

4. Be On Time

Being on time as a divorce court litigant is not only respectful to the Court and to all other parties concerned, but it also makes you appear professional and more credible. People who are late can inadvertently convey the wrong message, making it look like they don't care about others, or that they don't value others' time. That can be detrimental to you.

You should be on time. It is not hard to do and it speaks well of you.

5. Be Polite

Many people have a temptation to treat the other lawyer or their spouse with hostility in divorce court. This can be counterproductive. The "system" tends to view your divorce situation as a necessary series of business transactions essentially to be negotiated between spouses who are looking to undo their marriages.


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Topics: Divorce Court, family court