What if I am called to testify in court?
Testifying in court can be quite an intimidating experience. Everyone is nervous before testifying in court, but if you trust in yourself, are well prepared and believe that what you are doing is the right thing to do for you and your family you will give yourself the best possible chance for a positive outcome.
There are rules in the courtroom that everyone must follow. These rules will protect you from unfair questions. Strict laws also make it a crime for anyone to try to bully you to not testify, or to influence what you will say. If anyone attempts to persuade you to alter your testimony, you should report it right away to your attorney.
You cannot remake the facts of your case during the testimony. However, if you prepare fully beforehand with your divorce attorney and follow the simple tips below, your testimony will be believable and your integrity never called into question.
Tip number one is to always tell the truth. The opposing attorney will probably not ask you a question unless he or she has a good idea of the answer you are going to give. If you are telling untruths, or even exaggerating the facts, you could be tripped up and your integrity will be immediately called into question. From then on everything you say may be doubted. Also remember, it’s against the law to lie under oath. You could end up in hot water.
Take care to dress appropriately and conservatively. No flashy ties for men, a modest dark colored dress and minimal jewelry are best for women.
Along with dressing appropriately, your behavior should also be appropriate for the seriousness of the matter. Remember, jurors probably use the same front entrance as you do when entering the building. They will certainly recognize the loud person who was standing outside smoking a cigarette as they came in.
When you are sworn in, say in a loud and clear voice “I do”.
Once seated sit straight, with your hands folded in your lap.
Answer questions in a loud clear voice. Do not nod or shake your head. If you do, the judge will ask you to respond audibly so your answer can be recorded.
If either attorney objects during questioning, stop talking immediately. Look to the judge to make his or her ruling, and then begin again from the start.
Do not be argumentative with the opposing council. If there’s an argument to be made, let your attorney make it.
Answer only the question asked. There’s no need to volunteer information. Your attorney will make certain that the court hears all your strongest points.
If you have never been in a courtroom, it may be wise to pay a visit a few days before your hearing. Knowing the procedures and the layout of the courtroom will help you to display confidence in your surroundings.
Hire an experienced divorce attorney to represent you. Listen to your lawyer’s advice and use it, it’s is your best chance for a favorable outcome.