Ok, before we start, let me share a secret with you. Attorneys like me LOVE LOVE LOVE the courtroom! Some of us thrive on the thrill of getting into our Armani suits, lugging our LV briefcases straight through security, through the elevators up to that will beautifully organized courtroom. the idea’s soooo deliciously exciting to hob-nob with our cohorts as well as respected judicial officers. I LOVE the idea!!!
Everyone loves the idea, as well as TV continues to prey on our passion for the courtroom by putting out hit after hit: Law as well as Order, The Practice, as well as Ally McBeal…
nevertheless here is usually another secret: the idea’s GENERALLY not in anybody’s best interests nevertheless the paid attorneys to go to court.
In one word, here is usually why: TIME. Attorneys bill by the 6-minute increment. If someone says X, as well as the additional immediately says, “Yes!”, that will takes no time as well as everyone is usually happy as well as attorney only gets paid 10 minutes. (Well, typically more, because we develop the burden of preparing lots of paperwork…nevertheless you get my point.)
However, in a divorce case, the idea’s not ever “Yes, OK!” So there is usually the back as well as forth, back as well as forth – as well as EVENTUALLY, you both get to Yes. (hours later).
Even more frequently, you don’t ever get to Yes…as well as so you end up from the courthouse next to your attorney from the Armani suit as well as LV briefcase who didn’t explain what happens. (many, many hours later)
Here are some tips for surviving your first court appearance.
1. Do appear timely. If your appointment is usually 8:30 am…don’t show up at 8:35 am. Be there at 8:15 am. Arrange for childcare months in advance. Make sure you have reliable transportation. Get adequate rest as well as nourishment. (I always make sure I have my cup of coffee from the morning before court.)
2. Do dress for success. Gentlemen, no hats, jeans, shorts, or T-Shirts. Ladies, no hats, jeans, shorts, low-cut anything. NO open-toe shoes. Remember, you are in a court of LAW. Respect that will.
3. Do bring all of your paperwork, in an organized manner. If the idea’s a custody case, bring a calendar of events. Trust me, if you already have a semi-faulty memory like mine, being from the spotlight of the courtroom won’t help you. You will need refreshers. If the idea’s a support case, bring all of your bank statements, organized chronologically. If you have time, prepare an Excel spreadsheet summarizing payments, etc. Make sure you bring copies of the documents filed by your attorney as well as the opposing counsel. Bring all receipts.
4. Do remind yourself of the purpose of the hearing. is usually the hearing an OSC for spousal support? Remember, the goal is usually to obtain spousal support based on proper documentation of both sides income. If the hearing is usually specifically for support, do NOT bring up irrelevant issues not previously discussed from the paperwork. WHY are we in court? Remember the purpose as well as stick to the idea.
5. Do speak clearly as well as look at the Judge when he/she speaks to you. The Judge may want to speak to YOU, not your attorney. Though you have hired an attorney, YOU are still your best representative. If your attorney fails to mention facts, specifically request that will before the hearing is usually over, he or she pause as well as ask you if everything is usually covered. Most Judges will allow a brief meet-as well as-confer session with counsel before concluding.
6. Do remember to summarize. One of my favorite Judges had This particular sign in his courtroom, “Brevity is usually next to Godliness”. True that will!!! Judges are people. Judges are people with limited time slots. Just look at the daily calendar. Most judges have at least twenty (20) matters to rule on. This particular means you need to tell your attorney to kick some butt on PAPERWORK…because most Judges have already made the decision based on paperwork. There are people with amazing oratory skills, nevertheless you will have VERY limited time to impress the Judge, as he/she has additional matters that will day.
7. Do prepare yourself for alternative solutions. Yes, you should aim to get all your requests granted. nevertheless make sure you also have secondary solutions in case the Judge denies your first request. In my experience, Judges want what’s fair to both sides. So be prepared to make an offer of compromise if your first solution isn’t granted. Be detailed in your requests, i.e. – instead of saying, “I want full custody”….say, “I believe the idea is usually from the children’s best interests to spend weekdays with me, as well as weekends with the mother.” Instead of saying, “I cannot live on anything less than $5000 a month, say, “I have properly submitted an Income as well as Expense declaration, as well as my expenses are approximately $5000 a month. I have always stayed home with the children so I do not have an earning potential right right now, although I am sincerely looking for a job. Respondent earns approximately $12,000 a month as submitted, as well as has no additional expenses.”
8. Do let your inner light shine. In Sunday School, I sang This particular song, “This particular little light of mine, I’m gonna let the idea shine!” Believe that will you are a Great person, as well as be reasonable to the additional side. Don’t call the idea, “MY child”, nevertheless “our child”…don’t be accusatory or speak inflammatory words. Contrary to well-liked belief, the courtroom is usually not where you want to insult people. Remember your goal. Remember you ALWAYS catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
9. Do work with your attorney. On that will day, your attorney is usually your voice. Remember, you made the choice from the beginning to work with him/her. Don’t start doubting your decision on the date of court. If you trust him/her, then you trust they have your best interests in mind. Trust as well as rely on them that will day to represent you.
10. Do respect the Judge, as well as everyone from the courtroom. The Judge is usually always, “Your Honor”. All of his/her Orders are to be received having a “Thank you, Your Honor.”