Once you or your spouse file for divorce, the reality of the situation sets in. You are going to have to walk into a courtroom and hash out the details of your new and separate lives. This can be incredibly intimidating if you have little or no experience with the court system. That is why it is best to work with an Illinois divorce attorney and discuss what court is like. By preparing for the hearings you need to attend, you can ease some of the stress and worry. For more information, contact the DuPage County divorce lawyers of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. today.
Anticipating Court Appearances
You may not need to attend court every time your attorney does. Some court dates will be check ins, marking the progress of your case. During these scheduled court dates, your appearance may not be required. However, you and your spouse may need to attend hearings requiring evidence and testimony. Usually, these are the days where you argue your position on an issue or expect the judge to make a final decision.
Do not expect the fancy courtrooms you see on television. Many courtrooms are older and simplistic. There will likely be chairs or benches for waiting parties, toward the back of the room. Then, there will usually be a low wall or railing, known as the bar, between the sitting area and the tables for the parties and their attorneys. To one side of the room may be a jury box, though not always. At the very front of the room will be where the judge sits, and on either side of the judge may be the court clerk and a bailiff.
Court hearings are a relatively formalized and static process. Your divorce attorney will be able to describe what will happen step by step so that you are never surprised or unprepared for what happens next. During any court appearance, your attorney will do the talking. It can be difficult to sit quietly as your attorney argues on your behalf, yet this is exactly what you are supposed to. Remaining quiet and coolheaded gives the judge a better impression of you. If you want to say something to your attorney during the proceedings, use a pen and paper to write a note. You can keep these on the table in front of you.
Preparing to Appear in Court
You will usually have weeks’ or months’ notice for when you need to appear in court. This gives you time to arrange to be off work and to arrange for transportation to and from the courthouse. In addition to the logistics, speak with your attorney about how you should represent yourself in court, including how to dress. Court is a serious occasion and you will want to dress in more formal, business-like attire. Both men and women can wear nice slacks and a dress shirt or blouse.
Preparing to Speak in Court
There may be a time during the divorce where you are sworn in to provide testimony. During this time, remain calm and do not raise your voice. It is okay to let your emotions show, but do not yell or direct your answers to your spouse. Instead, politely answer while looking at the attorney who asked the question, or the judge. Address the judge as “your honor.”
When you are set to speak in court, you will be thoroughly prepared by your attorney so you know what questions to expect. So long as you have been open and honest with your lawyer, there should not be any major surprises in court.
Contact our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers for Advice
If you are preparing to move forward with a divorce, contact Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. at 630-961-0060 today.