The nature of divorce is touchy in most cases. Whether you are just starting the process or have already received the decree, the whole experience can be daunting and challenging for all parties involved. However, the most intimidating part — for the majority of divorcing couples — comes when they have to actually enter the court and present their case in front of a judge.
It’s fair to say that most people are not familiar with courtroom procedure and etiquette. And as a family law attorney in Massachusetts, we cannot overstate the importance of conducting yourself properly during your hearings.
You should always remember that on average, every judge has around 1,300 to 4,500 cases pending at any given time — to say that the judge presiding over your case is extremely busy, would not be an understatement. In other words, you and your divorce attorney have a very limited amount of time to make a good impression.
At Davis Law Group, Jay Davis and his team of tenacious attorneys are fully aware of how valuable your time is. We are passionate about providing you with the service and support you deserve in matters such as divorce, alimony, child custody, and any other familial relationship-related legal issue. Our sole focus on Massachusetts family law allows us to have a competitive advantage when we walk into a courtroom. To schedule your consultation, please call us at 617-221-3548 or visit us online.
How to Conduct Yourself in the Family Law Court
Based on our nearly 100 years of our team’s collective experience in family law litigation, here are some of our best tips to help you prepare for a successful day in court during your divorce:
Dress to Convince, Not to Impress
We always ask our clients to dress up for their court appearance in a professional manner. You want to show respect to the judge who will be deciding your fate — you do NOT want to look like:
- A slob: dressed in casual clothes, as it sends the message that you don’t care what happens
- A fashionista: dressed too well, as it sends the message that you have plenty of money to pay support (if your spouse is seeking alimony) or that you don’t really need any financial support (if you are seeking alimony)
For example, if you have tattoos and body piercings, and you are a parent who is fighting for your child’s custody, it will be wise to cover them up. Dress like you are going to a grandparent’s funeral and your entire orthodox family will be there, watching and judging you. Don’t wear flashy or revealing clothes and jewelry. Look focused and respectful.
Create a Strategy with Your Attorney
If your divorce is not amicable and you are not on good terms with your ex, you should not go into the hearing without first strategizing with your divorce attorney. A judicious lawyer will brief you on what the agenda of the hearing is, what your role will be, and what to expect. Regardless of what type of hearing it is — regarding alimony support or child custody, for example — make sure your attorney sits down with you to go over the details, so you are not caught off guard.
With the advice of an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney like Jay Davis, you will feel much more comfortable standing before a judge. We have cultivated a network of several relevant connections over the past several decades that provide us with the resources we need to get you the desired results. To work with a team of attorneys who know Massachusetts family law like the back of their hands, give us a call at 617-221-3548 or contact us online.
Never Curse or Make Disagreeable Faces
Showing agitation, cursing, rolling your eyes, or making mock horror faces at something your soon-to-be-ex is saying in the court is a big no-no! You lose your cool in front of a judge, you might as well announce that you don’t respect the judge or the court.
Pertaining to this, keep a poker face no matter how many horrific allegations are leveled against you. It will be HARD, but this will help you present an image of confidence, respect, and strength, which will always count in your favor.
This also includes never interrupting the other party or trying to talk over them during your hearing. When your ex is speaking, you should be taking notes so you can respond to the list of issues in a coherent manner when it’s your turn to speak.
Do Not Fixate on One Outcome
If you are heading into the court determined to win on every single point, let us tell you right now — it won’t happen. You have to be realistic and flexible, not to mention fair. The family court judge will act as a mediator and their #1 goal will be to settle your case. Based on this, you may not get everything you want and you have to be ready to accept that outcome.
Remember, court is almost always the last resort to settle disputes that the involved parties are unable to resolve any other way. If you and your ex want to maintain some semblance of control over the decision, fighting it out in the court might not be the best idea. But if there is no other option, it’s best to keep your expectations flexible.
Cutting-Edge Massachusetts Divorce Attorneys Offering Strong Legal Representation
At Davis Law Group, we specialize in contested, complex divorce cases involving child custody disputes, alimony settlements, and sophisticated financials. We will work with you to determine the best way to protect your privacy and interests, and divide properties, savings, retirement accounts, stocks, business interests, and other complex assets. Call us today at 617-221-3548 or fill out this form to set up a no-obligation consultation.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548