Many people fear the unknown. Since some of us go our entire lives without entering a courtroom other than for jury duty, attending a hearing can be incredibly stressful. It doesn’t have to be so bad. Just talk to your attorney while preparing for your court hearing. You may learn some tips for understanding the unknown that will make your experience easier.
First, the Basics
California family courts typically are less formal than other courts. However, the judge in a family court does expect certain behavior from people taking part in the court proceedings.
- Dress appropriately. Most courts have a dress code. For example, your judge’s dress code may require that your clothes are clean and prohibit baggy clothing, hoodies, tank tops, shorts and short dresses and inappropriate footwear like flip flops.
- Get some sleep the night before. Sleep deprivation may make the entire process more difficult.
- Make sure you’re on time. This is so important. Being late may give the court the wrong impression. Plan your route and where you will park beforehand, then leave the house a little early.
Courtroom etiquette is a set of rules that says how the court wants you to behave in the courtroom. Here are some dos and don’ts for courtroom attendees:
- Don’t bring gum, food, and drinks into the courtroom.
- Don’t bring cameras, tape recorders, or devices that play music.
- Do turn off your cell phones and pagers.
- Don’t text message.
- Do take off your hat and sunglasses.
- Do be courteous and respectful to everyone you meet. It never pays to be rude to a court clerk, bailiff, or judge.
Additionally, there are some things you can do in the weeks leading up to your hearing.
A Few In-Depth Tips
Once you have the basic information in hand, start thinking about the big picture by:
- Reviewing the documents you have filed in your case.
- Reviewing the documents your spouse filed.
Anything your attorney gives you to read gets top priority, of course.
And Some Final Thoughts
It really comes down to listening to your attorney. Ask questions, then follow your attorney’s advice.To discuss your divorce, please call us at 415-293-8314. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients in San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.