10 Tips For Going To Family Court

Even if you have secured a family lawyer, coming to court over a family-related matter can be stressful. If you are headed to court for a family law case for the first time, you may not realize exactly how the process will work. Make sure to follow these tips to ensure that your hearing goes as smoothly as possible:

1. Dress Professionally and Conservatively

No matter your personal style, the court expects that you dress professionally. Dress as if you were going to be attending a job interview or a church function, for instance. Men often wear suits, covering up tattoos and body piercings. They also come in shaven. For women, conservative makeup and a simple haircut will suffice. Avoid large heels and statement jewelry. Typically, people do not wear jeans or t-shirts to court.

2. Understand the Judge's Predicament

Judges have heard hundreds of cases just like yours in the past. He or she is unlikely to be surprised by your circumstances and may have the idea that both parties are equally at fault for the circumstances that occurred. Your attorney's job will be to convince the judge of your argument.

3. Do Not Be Late

Arriving early is your most important step on the day of your actual hearing. In fact, it is best to arrive an hour early so you can meet with your lawyer and find the courtroom easily.

4. Address the Judge Respectfully

It is important to address the judge as "your honor" whenever you are addressed. You should also only speak when you are asked to.

5. Don't Address the Other Party

Never speak to your opposition in the court room, even if you are being talked to at the time. Speak only to the person addressing you.

6. Answer Questions Briefly

It is important to answer questions succinctly, not elaborating so that you make your own point. The questions are asked in such a way that you provide a brief answer that is straight to the point.

7. Avoid Emotional Outbursts

Emotional outbursts will only reflect poorly on you. Anger, tears, and even pride can be perceived by the judge as disrespect.

8. Ask Your Attorney to Debrief You

After the hearing or trial, talk to your attorney about what just happened. He or she will provide you with a summary of the events so that you can better understand them.

A hearing can be confusing, so you will rely a lot on your attorney for additional information.