Almost anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you that having a hearing in a courtroom can seem scary, especially if you’re not sure what to expect.
While divorce lawyers do strive to keep their clients out of court, there are times either due to the inability of spouses to agree on terms or other complicating issues that the divorce requires a hearing in front of a judge.
Read this brief primer about attending Texas courtroom divorce hearings with your attorney, what you should expect, and how to prepare for your day in divorce court!
Understand What Will Happen
A courtroom divorce hearing typically takes place in front of only a judge with you and your divorce attorney, your spouse and his or her attorney, and some other court personnel present.
During the hearing, both sides will present evidence and then make their requests for the divorce settlement.
After hearing both arguments and considering all evidence, the judge will make decisions regarding all that has been presented, determine how other specific details or disagreements are to be handled, and then approve a final divorce decree if that can be done right then.
Prepare for Your Divorce Hearing
Once in court, expect the divorce lawyers to do most of the talking with yours representing your interests in the case as previously discussed and agreed upon prior to the hearing.
When questioned by the judge, it’s important that you remain calm, listen carefully, answer only the question you’ve been asked, and don’t exaggerate or lie.
Additionally, it’s essential that you stay composed and avoid arguing with your spouse or their divorce attorney as you want to present yourself in a professional way.
If your hearing moves on another hearing at a later date, know that decisions made at the current hearing remain in effect until they are either modified or finalized.
Prepare for Your Day In Divorce Court
Having a successful day in court starts with good preparation for the little things that could make it more difficult if forgotten.
Consider these tips from divorce attorneys on how to keep your day in divorce court running as smoothly as possible:
- Bring money for parking in a local parking lot so you don't risk being late by looking for a street spot and won’t need to worry about parking meters.
- Eat before court and during breaks to keep up your energy to think clearly and also bring money for snacks and lunch.
- Arrive with enough time for parking, walking to the courthouse, and going through the security check so you can meet your divorce lawyer with time to spare before your case is called.
- Research in advance and adhere to all rules about what you can and cannot bring into the courthouse and courtroom with you like cell phones with cameras, bags, purses, laptops, food, drinks, and other things that might be restricted.
- Though divorce hearings are held in a public court where anyone can sit and observe, it’s recommended to not bring friends or family to your hearing as their presence can be stressful for you and distracting for everyone else
- Dress comfortably yet appropriately for court in clean, pressed clothing and comfortable shoes, avoiding anything outlandish or provocative to present yourself as respectfully as possible to the judge.
- Expect to wait and possibly wait some more, because cases are not always heard at the exact time stated to be there so that when the judge has finished with prior scheduled cases, he or she will not have to wait for your appearance and further slow ;down courtroom schedules as a result.
Prepare In Advance
When the day comes for your divorce hearing in a Texas family court, you may be nervous or concerned about what the judge’s decision may be.
If you prepare for your session in advance by discussing it with your divorce attorney and then following these helpful tips, you should have a good experience and get through the hearing as easily and quickly as possible.
Though not every decision may go your way, you can rest assured that you and your lawyer presented your case well and the judge made fair decisions about your individual case and divorce situation.
Reynaldo Garza, III - Attorney at Law
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520