Although the majority of divorce cases are settled before they enter litigation, the reality remains that many cases require a trial. If your divorce is headed to trial, it is normal to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of going before a judge and stating your case. Still, there are certain things to remember that can help you feel confident throughout the length of the trial, and give you a better chance of a positive outcome.
It may sound obvious, but you should always dress appropriately any time you have to appear in court. Do not dress casually or wear provocative clothing. Instead, dress professionally wearing either a suit or another item that provides a clean and neat appearance. This shows that you have respect for the entire process and the court and will win favor with the judge.
Keep Answers Short
During a divorce trial, you will likely have a lot to say and you will want the judge to know your full side of the story. However, it is best to keep your answers short and to the point. Providing too much information can actually make your case less compelling. Also, if you provide too much information, it could hurt your case. Your lawyer will always make sure that the most important information comes to light during the trial.
Remain Respectful when Your Spouse, or Their Lawyer, Speaks
You may hear many things from the other side that are upsetting. This is particularly true if your divorce involves contentious property division or child custody issues. Still, it is important to remain respectful when either your spouse or their lawyer is speaking. Do not roll your eyes, interrupt, sigh, or do anything else that may be seen as a sign of disrespect.
These actions will only make the judge look unfavorably on you, as you and your spouse are each given the right to state their case. Instead, remain calm and show no emotions. In the event that your spouse says something that is untrue, quietly inform your lawyer.
Make Sure You Understand Questions
This one may sound obvious, but it is important. You may get asked a question you do not understand during the trial. You may also feel as though you should answer it anyway, providing whatever information you think the lawyer or judge wants to hear. While doing so, you may also provide irrelevant information, which may not make sense to the judge. Always ask for clarification and make sure you do not answer any question you do not understand.
Many people that enter into a trial do not act like themselves. It is crucial you do not do this. Act as you normally would, and do not try to be someone you are not. This will only come off as insincere, which will hurt your case.
Consult with an Illinois Divorce Lawyer
Fortunately, our skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio have been to trial many times. We can answer all of your questions and have the necessary experience to enter into litigation and secure a favorable outcome in your case. If you are considering divorce or have already begun the process, call us at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.