Proper Courtroom Decorum

Facing a final hearing in a family law case can be a nerve-wracking experience.  This is especially true for those who have never been to court and do not know what to expect.  In a family law case, the judge is considering highly personal issues, such as how your property will be divided and where your children will spend their time.  With such important questions riding on the judge, it is obviously important to make a good impression.  Following appropriate and proper courtroom decorum can help you with this.

First, understand that while the judge understands this is probably an emotional time for you, the judge will expect you to maintain composure and control of your emotions.  Yelling, throwing a tantrum, or sobbing loudly are not appropriate ways to react to testimony, questioning, or the judge’s ruling.  While it is not necessary for you to refrain from showing any emotional reaction at all, keep your reaction controlled and appropriate.

Next, you should make sure to dress like you are taking the case seriously.  Business casual is typically the best way to dress.  Tight dresses, low cut shirts, ripped jeans, or open-toed shoes are all examples of inappropriate attire.  One rule of thumb is if you would not feel comfortable wearing your outfit to a place of worship, then it probably is not appropriate for court, either.

Third, you should take care not to interrupt the judge.  There are times when the judge will be speaking directly to the lawyers.  In those situations, you need to let your attorney speak on your behalf.  In other situations, the judge may have some questions directly for you.  If that happens, listen carefully to the question and do not interrupt the judge.  You will be able to ask clarifying questions if necessary before you respond.

Finally, remember that you hired your attorney for a reason.  Your attorney is well acquainted with the law concerning your divorce or custody matter, as well as the rules of evidence that are necessary to follow to properly enter the evidence at trial.  You may think that you have an important comment or addition to your attorney’s statement, but it is crucial that you stay quiet and instead let your attorney handle the issue.  If you speak out of turn during the case, the court is likely to tell you to be quiet and relay any information to your attorney, who, after all, is paid to speak on your behalf.

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We have extensive experience helping clients with hearings at all stages of family law cases.  Contact us today, and we will help you navigate your case.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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