If you are like most people, you may be feeling very anxious about going to court for your divorce, child custody or other family law matter.
First of all, the good news is that most family law cases settle before having to go to trial, so you don't need to think about it too much until you have a court date set.
If your case does end up going to trial, knowing what to expect can help you relax and prepare for the day. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
A courtroom is a place to be formal and respectful.
It is likely that your attorney will tell you to wear something nice and always address the judge with the formal "your honor." It is important to be on time and to not speak out of turn. The hearing is set up so both sides have an opportunity to be heard.
Your attorney will do most of the talking.
One of the best things about having an attorney by your side is that she will do most of the talking for you. There may be times when the judge asks you questions directly, but you can always feel comfortable asking your attorney for help.
A decision probably won't be made on the day of your hearing.
In most cases, the judge will not issue an order from the bench, which means you don't have to feel anxious about what will be decided that day. Typically, the hearing is used as a way for the judge to gather as much information as possible in order to make his decision.
As we mentioned above, it is usually possible to avoid going to court, especially in uncontested divorce cases. In fact, our firm completes entire uncontested divorce cases at our offices, and then we send the paperwork to the court so you never have to attend.