A divorce that ends up in court can be very intimidating for anyone who has never been through any legal proceedings. If your divorce goes to court, it simply means you were not able to negotiate your own terms amongst yourselves and your legal representation. The court will then step in and help you finalize the process.
Before you go into a divorce trial, you need to be somewhat familiar with the process. If you know what to expect, you will experience less stress and fear. Here are some things you should know about divorce court.
How Your Trial Will Proceed
Once the trial begins, each of your attorneys will make an opening statement. This is a brief summarization of why you are there and what you hope the results will be once the trial is over.
Before your trial, you will have already provided the court with the necessary documentation, including a trial memorandum and your final orders, to support your case. The judge will have an idea of what to expect before you enter the courtroom, as he or she will have already gone over the details that you provided.
The time it takes for your trial is determined before you begin. You will be told the number of days you have for your case. If you filed for the divorce, you will go first when it is time to present your case.
In family law court, you and your spouse will be the most important witnesses. You need to be overly prepared to present your testimony to the judge. Not only will you answer questions from your own attorney, but your spouse's attorney will cross examine you. You must prepare yourself for any questions he or she could throw at you.
Your attorney will ensure you prepare for your trial. One of the best ways to practice for trial is through mock trials with your attorney. This will help you feel more comfortable during testimony and prepare you for any potential questions.
In addition to yourselves, your situation could require additional witnesses, particularly if the case involves domestic abuse, drug use, child custody, and the like. During witness testimony, the judge will listen closely to everything to help determine if the witness is credible.
The substance of your answers is important, but the way you answer the questions also matter. You need to be confident and not seem as though you are uncertain.
The Closing Statements and Arguments
Once both attorneys rest their respective cases, each will have the chance to provide a closing argument. This is similar to the opening statement at the start of the trial. The point of a closing argument is to summarize the evidence and touch on the most important parts of the trial. A great closing should finish with a strong argument in your favor.
The Court Trial Decision
When and how you receive a decision by the court is dependent on the judge presiding over your case. Some judges will give you a ruling in person once the trial is over. Others will do so at a later date, typically within a few weeks of closing arguments. Still other judges will draft an order and give it to your attorney.
A divorce is an intense and complex process for anyone to go through. You need to be as prepared as possible to ensure you get the most out of your proceedings. If you need assistance with your divorce or if you have any questions about what to expect during a trial, please contact the Law Offices of Shahnaz Hussain.