Many people can be intimidated by the thought of having to appear before a judge in their divorce case. For those who will be experiencing a legal proceeding for the first time, there are a few things you should know before setting foot inside a courtroom. Adhering to these general guidelines may not have a significant outcome on your case, but they will still help you so they are important to follow.
Courtrooms are places where a high amount of respect must be given, so professional conduct is required at all times. This includes primarily how you dress. For ladies: pantsuits or other business-casual attire is highly encouraged. Keep your hair style conservative. For gentlemen: this is a great time to break out your business suit if you have one. If not, a button-down shirt and tie are strongly recommended, along with dress shoes. Both men and women should avoid bright colors, though a tasteful necktie is for gentlemen is encouraged.
If you have tattoos, it’s best to attempt to cover them as much as possible. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum; a simple necklace is fine as well as a watch. Finally, make sure your hair is done up properly, as hats are strongly frowned upon in courtrooms.
The single most important part of your courtroom conduct: be on time! Plan for traffic and parking hassles, because being late have a significant negative impact on your case. Once you arrive, turn off your cell phone and other personal devices. Do not bring any food or gum into the courtroom.
While the hearing is in session, pay attention to who is speaking and be respectful, and do not speak until you have been prompted to do so. Interrupting is not allowed, and doing so may get you tossed from the courtroom. This may be difficult for some because courtroom proceedings are naturally contentious, but showing restraint and keeping things cordial reflects well on your character and helps keep the tension to a minimum. And finally, always be sure to refer to the judge as “your honor.”
For top-rated legal counsel for all of your family law needs, call the Board Certified Family Law Specialist at Weis Law Group. Our team has assisted numerous people through the complex proceedings of divorces, and may be able to help you achieve the best possible outcome of your case. We are proud of our accomplishments, including a 10.0 Superb rating from Avvo, recognition from Super Lawyers, and being named one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report.