Although this may seem obvious, we’d like go over how to behave in court. When going through a divorce or separation… or any appearance in court you make… your appearance can have a huge impact on the verdict. A judge (or jury) is swayed by everything, whether they intend to be or not.
Daniel Clement shared the following tips about court etiquette and we thought we’d share them with you as well:
Arrive early. It’s a good idea to arrive around 15 minutes early to account for possible traffic, parking issues, the metal detector line, etc. You do NOT want to be late in court, so don’t plan to be “on time,” because being late is then a good possibility.
Dress appropriately. Most people know what business attire is. When in doubt, overdress.
Turn off your cell phone. Don’t put it on vibrate. It needs to be known that you are “present” and nothing else should be able to distract you from your court appearance.
Keep a poker face. Not only do you not want your emotions read, but it comes across as immature and unprofessional if you wear your emotions on your sleeve. The judge or jury may look to see if you are reacting to certain things that are said. You’ll have your time to talk. Stay focused on simply listening and wait until it’s your turn to show any emotion.
Know when to shut up. Rambling rarely helps. If you’ve already made your point, you’ll just come across and desperate or reaching if you keep blabbing on.
Act like you’re in school. The people in the court are not your colleagues, think of them more as your teachers/principal. Don’t chew gum, eat, talk on your cell phone, whisper to other people, etc.