Hello. I’m Susan, a paralegal, and today I want to talk to you about what you might experience when you go to a court hearing, whether it’s divorce, custody or child support. There are a whole lot of things to think about. Hopefully your lawyer or your paralegal is going to prepare you for those things, but here are some of the tips that I have. One thing to note is that if you’re in a particular type of case where there is high conflict or maybe domestic violence, they are probably going to keep you and your spouse separated so you don’t have to worry about facing the other person.
For all other type cases, I have a long list of tips. Just remember that your hearing may only be 15 minutes, but don’t be surprised if it’s more like 30 minutes or an hour. Sometimes hearings can last for days. You have to be prepared for that eventuality. I would wear layers. The courtrooms are notoriously hot or cold, so be able to take a sweater off or put it on. Bring a pen and a pad of paper. You are going to want to doodle or you might even want to write down some questions about what your lawyer’s doing or not doing that you don’t understand. Possibly it could get a little boring.
There is a lot of technicality in court. It is not like what you see on TV. There is a lot of procedural effort from both sides. Another important thing that I would like to mention is that your attorney may not be speaking a lot or may not be objecting, even though you may think they should. You might actually be winning, and a good attorney knows to just say nothing and go with it if you are, in fact, winning. Just jot down your questions, but don’t get panicky or interrupt because if you have a good attorney they know what they are doing.
I think that what you need to be prepared for as well is that you’re not going to be able to sit in the judge’s lap and tell your story. A lot of people think that, but again, this is a courtroom with rules of procedures. It’s not like it’s on TV. You might be a witness, you might not. If you are a witness, you don’t get to tell your story the way you think you do. You are going to be asked questions from your attorney and then the other side is going to ask you questions and they may not be so comfortable. In closing, the last tip that I have is dress appropriately. Ladies, no tube tops or belly buttons and guys, it might be nice if you wear a collared shirt. For compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, call our office today.