Three Tips on Following Proper Courtroom Etiquette at a Divorce Hearing or Trial
Appearing before a judge in your divorce may feel scary. If you’re like many people, you’ve never had to appear in court for any reason, let alone something as personal and emotional as a divorce. Fortunately, the basic rules you should follow when appearing before a judge aren’t difficult to learn, and following them carefully will earn you a great deal of esteem and credibility with your judge. Read on to learn the most important etiquette rules of appearing in a courtroom during your New Jersey divorce, and contact a knowledgeable New Jersey divorce attorney with any additional questions.
- Dress appropriately. There’s no need to wear a three-piece suit to your court appearance, but it is important to look clean, tidy, and professional. The outfit you might wear to a job interview should be sufficiently formal. Jeans are not appropriate.
- Be respectful of the court. A family part judge has an immense amount of discretion when making decisions regarding your case. It is important for you to show respect for their judgment and power through your conduct. Make it your highest priority to get to the court on time, remembering to account for parking near the courthouse and any security measures taken at the door to the court. You’ll want time to consult with your lawyer before your hearing begins. Plus, if the judge finds that not all parties are present on a day when their docket is busy, they’ll simply skip your case and move on. If the judge addresses you, refer to them as “your honor.”
- Let your lawyer speak for you. It can be difficult not to react when your spouse’s attorney or your spouse says something blatantly untrue and offensive in court. However, the smart divorcee knows the value of hiring an attorney to represent them. Let your lawyer do the talking, and never speak in open court unless first addressed by the judge or on the witness stand. Don’t show your frustration, anger, or other emotional response to the court’s proceedings. Remain outwardly calm, even if you’re not feeling that way. You want the court to know that you’re level-headed, responsible, and in control of your emotions.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, get the help of compassionate, effective, and knowledgeable attorneys by contacting the Englewood offices of the family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss for a free telephone consultation at 201-440-6300.