Divorce court can be scary.
Judges and lawyers may not think so since we are there almost everyday.
However, for most parties, it is the first time they have ever been in a
courtroom and they find themselves fighting for their children, their
livelihood and their very future. Being prepared for what to expect can help
you perform much better and put your mind at ease. A skilled family law attorney
will take the time to sit down with you and prepare you for
The following is what to expect
from yourself in a divorce court proceeding.
Expect to be nervous, everyone else does. Like I said, you are fighting for your
children, your livelihood and future. The judge certainly expects you to be nervous
and it is okay. Indeed, seeming to be stoic and unemotional in a child custody
case may convey the mistaken impression that you do not care. However, some
people get in court and become nervous, then believe that everyone,
particularly the judge, will see that they are nervous and question their
honesty. Then they become even more nervous and it becomes a vicious circle. Relax. Keep in mind, all you have to do when testifying is talk. You have probably been doing that since you were two years old.
Expect to know everything about your case. If
you think all you have to do is show up because your lawyer will know
everything about your case, you are setting yourself up for failure. No one knows your life better than you do.
Prepare yourself. Review all of the pleadings from your case. Review financial
documents that will be relevant to your case. Review statements made by you and
the other party or any witness. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Expect that things are not black and white in
divorce court. While you may see things as clear and evident, judges do not
always see things as such. This is further complicated by the fact that divorce
court operates under the rules of evidence. While something may be the truth,
if it cannot be established within the bounds of the rules, the court cannot
Expect that you will tell the truth, even if the
other party does not. While this should go without saying, I will go ahead and
say it. There may be a certain temptation to bend the truth or flat out lie to
improve your case. Do not give into that temptation. For one, you will be
committing perjury and subject yourself to criminal sanctions. Second, when
(not if) your falsehood is exposed, your credibility will be destroyed.
Finally, there is nothing more powerful than to simply tell the truth.
Preparing yourself for the terrifying experience of court
will go a long way to increasing the odds of a successful outcome.
Labels: court, divorce, final hearing, kentucky, paducah, testimony, trial preparation, witness