Surviving Your Divorce Trial-What You Need To Know
Posted on June 4, 2015 in Testifying At Your Divorce Trial
- Stay calm. Don’t show that you are upset. Don’t try to use your acting skills. It doesn’t work and just annoys the judge. Tone it down.
- Do not talk to your attorney during the hearing. Everyone will miss something. Always bring a pad to write down whatever you need to tell your attorney at trial. Don’t even whisper.
- Answer the question asked. That is on direct and cross. Do not over think the question, but do not answer beyond the question. Wait for the next question.
- Do not argue with opposing counsel. This can be tough. Remember, we attorneys know how to throw you off. If you start arguing with us, we can turn it to our advantage against you.
- Take three seconds before answering questions. It’s important for you to think about the question before answering it. Many times, clients believe they know what is about to be asked and will either answer before the question is done. Take a breath. Don’t be obvious about it.
- Remember why you are there. It’s important to know what the goal of the hearing is.
- Courtrooms are generally public. You should be prepared to testify about very personal matters in front of others. Once you are on the stand, you will forget about them.
- Be prepared to try to settle the matter at the last minute, even if you are totally geared up for a trial. Many times, judges and masters will suggest that the parties take some time to talk about settlement. Sometimes, judges/masters will ask the attorneys to chambers to discuss settlement before the hearing.
- Speak clearly. Do not nod or say “uh huh” in answer to questions. You want the Court to understand exactly what you are saying.
- Remember to get enough rest, eat breakfast, take medications, etc. Clients should not put themselves at a disadvantage by not taking care of themselves. Hearings and trials can be marathons.