Divorce is stressful enough, especially when spouses are faced with moving, dividing
assets and debts, and most importantly,
child custody, but when you add in going to court – it makes it even more uncomfortable.
Unless you’re an attorney, you’re probably not familiar with
courtroom procedure, and going before a judge can be nerve-wracking. Sometimes
people feel as if they are on trial, when of course they are not.
Still, you are in a courtroom and it’s important that you know how
to conduct yourself – we cannot stress this enough. The judge handling
your case is a very busy individual, so you only have a short period of
time to make a good impression.
It’s not only about looking professional, it’s about acting
professional. Your courtroom demeanor speaks volumes and if you want to
influence the judge’s opinion in the best possible way, you should
prepare yourself for the day you go to court.
Dressing Up for Court
While you may work in one of those casual workplaces, court is not the
place to wear jeans or spaghetti straps.
Pretend you’re going to a church, a job interview, a 5 star restaurant,
or a nice wedding and dress in your “Sunday best.” Courthouses
demand respect and when you don’t dress the part, you come off as
However, don’t drop a fortune on an expensive outfit; you don’t
want to dress above your means. If you’re trying to fight spousal
support, the judge doesn’t need to see you walk in the courtroom
wearing a $4,000 Armani suit.
Have Your Attorney Brief You
You should not attend a hearing without knowing what to expect. Good divorce
lawyers brief their clients on their hearings and what will be addressed
ahead of time. No matter which hearing you are attending, make sure your
attorney carves out time beforehand to prepare you so you’re not
caught off guard.
When your attorney prepares you, you’ll feel much more comfortable
when you have to stand before the judge.
Be Respectful and Polite (Even to Your Ex)
While it’s critical that you’re polite to the judge, you need
to be polite to your ex and opposing counsel as well. Judges don’t
take kindly to people who are rude.
Even if your spouse is making a blatantly false allegation, you still must
respond politely and calmly. An emotional outburst can derail your plans
of a good outcome in court. Take the high road, you’ll be glad you did.
Mind Your Behavior
It’s not only what you say that matters, it’s your body language
and your behavior. Laughing at your ex’s attorney, shooting daggers
at your ex, or shaking your head in disbelief will not work in your favor.
Such behavior will make the judge think that you are disrespectful and
that is not the impression that you want to give.
When your day in court comes, make sure that you are prepared and do your
best to project an aura of strength, respect and confidence as these behaviors
will go a long way in the courtroom.
If you need a Los Angeles divorce attorney,
contact our firm for a free consultation.