Your pending family law case should be one of your most important concerns.
While your lawyer will do the talking for you during hearings, don’t assume that the judge hearing your case won’t make personal observations about you and your ex in court. The non-verbal cues you send across the courtroom can spell the difference between believing your story or your ex wife’s or ex husband’s.
Here are some things to remember when attending a hearing:
- Attend all your hearing dates and be punctual at all times. Your regular attendance shows that your child is important to you and that you care about the outcome of your case.
- Appear in clean and pressed clothes and observe good personal hygiene. Looking like you just woke up or had a long night out drinking with friends may create a negative impression about how responsible you can be with your child.
- Don’t bring along a new lover or partner during your hearing. If you must need moral support, let a close relative or a friend of the same sex accompany you in court.
- Be attentive during the hearing. Avoid side conversations with the person next to you or talking to your lawyer while the court is in session. If needed, your lawyer can ask for time to confer with you.
- When making statements or answering questions in court, always address the judge as “Your Honor”.
- Maintain a calm demeanor. Don’t allow your ex wife to provoke you into saying something ugly in the presence of the judge. Be at your best behavior regardless of how the other parent is in court. Besides, shouting and other aggressive behavior may be considered disrespectful to the judge and may be cause for contempt.