Your Family Court Appearance
Going before the judge in court can be a stressful event. Having some guidelines on what to expect and how to put your best foot forward can make you feel more prepared and confident. Your attorney is familiar with both the physical format and the routines and procedures of court, and can prepare you for your day in court.
Don’t be Late
While it should go without saying, showing up even a few minutes late for court, or worse— failing to show up at all—is no way to make a good impression on the court. Whether you’re appearing for a divorce, an adoption, or some other matter, the last thing you want to do is waste the court’s time or show signs of disrespect. This is serious business: be prompt!
Remember that judges are just people with a law degree, and they can be prejudiced by any messages you send with your appearance. You want to demonstrate that you respect the court with everything from the way you carry yourself to your clothing, poise, and demeanor. The way you present yourself tells the court a lot about who you are. In addition to your behavior, the way you dress will convey a message. So put some thought into your appearance and the image you’d like to present. While there’s no hard and fast rules for court-wear, some suggest that dressing for court should be similar to dressing for church. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to determine the best attire for court. The bottom line is to focus on the image you wish to present:
- You want to present as a self-respecting, productive and organized individual. Whatever that means for you in terms of attire, make sure it’s clean and pressed, so that you come across as someone with a certain degree of stability.
- If your natural dress code is on the wild side, you’ll want to tone it down for your court appearance. Stay away from flamboyant or suggestive attire that could be off-putting to a conservative judge.
- Go for a minimalist, subdued look, with trimmed hair and little or no jewelry.
Speaking in Court
You will have an opportunity to answer questions. Do so by giving straightforward, factual responses void of detailed backstories or unrelated events. The judge is there to give you an opportunity to present your case, but you need to recognize that you are one of many cases on the docket. Get to the point and avoid confusing or irrelevant information. Importantly, avoid interrupting others or attempting to interject your points out of turn. Listen carefully to what everyone has to say and show respect to everyone in the courtroom.
The Court Experience
Although possibly a taxing experience, you will find that court is over before you know it. At WiseLieberman, PLLC, our knowledgeable Boca Raton divorce attorneys will prepare you for your day in court. As your attorneys, we’ll be by your side throughout the entire process working to produce the best possible outcomes for you. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact our office today.