Your Day in Divorce Court
Obtaining a divorce is never a simple task and the court process can often be complicated and confusing for most people. Marriage and divorce are both governed by individual state statutes and the rules will vary depending on where you live but many of the general processes are similar. A period of legal separation might provide some temporary relief, but a marriage is not considered to be legally terminated and you can’t get remarried until you have a divorce decree signed by a judge in your possession.
The judge always has the final word in a divorce court setting and you want the judge on your side. If you hire a lawyer, his job is to act in your best interests, but he cannot bend the law for you. Your attorney has a legal obligation to act in your best interests within legal guidelines, just as your spouse’s lawyer will be looking out for their best interests too. The judge is present to make sure the terms of the divorce and subsequent settlement agreements comply with the law. The judge also has the final say in support, alimony, custody and property division issues.
Once you are in court, you need to remain calm and composed regardless of any turbulent emotions that might arise. One quick way to make things worse for your side of the case is to irritate the judge by arguing with your spouse during court proceedings. The same goes for interrupting someone else while they are speaking. Resist the urge to speak out even when your spouse is not being honest with the court, it is always better to wait for your proper turn to speak.
If you’re handling your own divorce with the aid of an online divorce document service, the best thing you can do is speak only after you have been asked to do so by the judge.
If you do have a lawyer, he will speak for you and knows what information the court want to hear in order to make a proper legal decision.
Being well-prepared for your appearance in divorce court can make a big difference as to the financial outcome of your case. A judge will not be pleased with your best guesses on how much money you and your spouse might have or owe. Bring the most current statements on all financial and credit accounts with you to court. Remember to bring copies of all leases or mortgages, utility bills and don’t forget your pay stubs. It is also your responsibility to make sure any witnesses you intend to call on in court are actually present. Judges do not like people who waste their time or come in with last minute surprises. With, or without an attorney, your day in court will go a lot better if you are courteous, organized and know what you want to accomplish.