It’s natural to feel nervous about going to court, especially when you know you’ll have to speak before a judge. To top it off, a family law case is often an emotional experience, as they involve sensitive situations like children, domestic violence, or other issues. If you will be testifying in family court, here are a few tips to help you prepare and have a smooth experience.
You can make a good first impression by wearing what you would wear to a job interview or a religious service. Dressing appropriately and modestly shows the court that you respect the legal process and the situation you are there to discuss. Presenting yourself in this way may also help calm some nerves.
Organize your thoughts ahead of time. Like our firm, most attorneys will prepare with clients before a court hearing to make sure they are clear about key points and what to expect. In addition, it’s helpful to make a timeline or outline for yourself to get your own thoughts together prior to the hearing. You cannot bring this document with you when testifying, but it can help you think things through.
Getting organized ahead of time can also help you avoid rambling or bringing up irrelevant points. Sticking to clear facts will allow the judge to learn about you and your family and make the best decisions.
Your attorney is there to represent your best interests, so be sure to share everything about your situation. That way, he or she can decide how to best present the information to the court. Lying or omitting facts is a huge mistake. It shows disrespect and hurts your credibility.
By following these tips, you can help ensure you’re adequately prepared, organized, and ready speak before a judge or master. If you are still nervous about the upcoming hearing, contact your attorney to discuss what’s ahead.