Much emphasis has always been placed on being original and staying true to yourself, however many people learn the hard way that sometimes we are forced to adapt to societal standards. A good case in point is how you act in court. This may seem obvious, but it is actually quite tricky. After all who doesn’t know how to act in court? Who hasn’t seen at least one episode of Law and Order? Unfortunately real life doesn’t always play out like a script. Here are a few key points that anyone going through a divorce can utilize.
How should you dress for Court?
A court appearance can be one of the most intimidating experiences a person faces. Enter any Court house in America and you will see people in various forms of dress, however, it is important to dress to impress. As a child most of us dreaded hearing the phrase wear your Sunday best. Court is one of those instances where your Sunday best is an absolute must. A business suit is preferable, however at the very least khakis, a dress shirt, tie and a sports jacket for men, and a skirt and dressy blouse for women. If possible keep body art and piercings covered. Hats should not be worn in the courtroom either.
How should you behave in Court?
Always follow the specific rules for the Court you are in. You can learn more about this by observing other cases in your Court. Some general rules that everyone should follow are to stand when addressing the Court. Always address the judge as Your Honor. Never interrupt the judge. Always speak clearly, concisely, and be direct in answering questions. Eating and drinking are not allowed in the Courtroom, and gum chewing is a big no-no.
How can I prepare for Court?
As previously mentioned, observing other cases gives you a slight edge as to the workings of your particular Court, and even the judge presiding over your case. It is also important when you have your pretrial meetings with the probation or family court department that you choose your words carefully. While it is easy to get emotional and to speak from the heart, you must also realize that you are speaking with a civil servant. This person reports directly to the court. In addition, the walls have ears, and sometimes without trying we can sabotage our own efforts by what is said or done.
With a little forethought and preparation, it is possible to get ahead of the game and in a great position for your divorce during this very challenging situation.
By Ron Lasorsa