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Testifying in Court For Your Divorce


For people who are undergoing a divorce, thinking about how to testify in court for your divorce can be a constant source of stress. You may be thinking about making the right preparation for your appearance in court at the onset of the divorce. However, not all divorces end up in court, especially in the state of Texas. Texas really has a high rate of divorces ending in settlements compared to other states. Of course, it is better to play it safe than to end up sorry later on. If you think that there is a possibility that your case will end in a Texas court, by all means, prepare to testify in court for your divorce. If you already hired an attorney, for sure, your attorney would also advise you about these important points before you testify in court.

1. Choice of Outfit

If you randomly bring this up to people, they would probably scoff and tell you that going to court is not about what you wear because it’s not going to be a fashion show. If you are preparing to testify in court for your divorce, you might be agonizing over what you should and should not wear. In fact, the clothes you wear can really have an impact on how people will perceive you in court. Of course, what you wear will probably not change the judge’s decision but people’s perception of you can be affected with what you wear, which in turn can affect your divorce case in many ways. With that said, it’s better to appear modest, so avoid clothes that are too revealing or showing too much skin. If you wear such clothing, it would certainly look inappropriate in the courtroom. If you are still unsure about what to wear, you can always seek the advice of your lawyer. Your lawyer might not tell you outright what to wear and what not to wear to avoid appearing rude.

2. Take Your Time in Answering Questions

Family law attorneys certainly spend a lot of time in the courtroom. Because of that, divorce attorneys already have a certain rhythm when it comes to asking questions. The attorney of both parties is already well-versed when it comes to questions they are supposed to ask. The attorneys know the script well, but you have no idea what’s coming next. In some cases, witnesses get flustered and they are unable to get the facts straight, which can have a negative impact on their case. Even though you are nervous, when you testify in court for your divorce, try to maintain your composure and try not to be flustered while you are testifying. It would be uncomfortable for you, that’s for sure. One thing to remember in order to help you relax is that you can answer questions according to your own pace. You can think about your answer if you need to before you blurt it out. Consider your words carefully before saying it out loud because if you are reckless it could be taken negatively by the judge. You don’t have to answer each question quickly.

3. Deal With The Objections

You probably have seen it on television and movies by now. During a court hearing, the attorneys could make objections to what is being discussed. When an attorney calls for an objection, you should not say anything unless the judge tells you that you can respond further. Always try to be aware of everything that is going on in the courtroom so that you will know when to speak and when to keep silent.

4. Be Honest

Your job as a witness when you testify for your divorce is to speak the truth and answer the questions honestly. You don’t really have to do anything else at the witness stand. You will have to make an oath before you testify in court and that is not just for show. You really have to be honest. You can get flustered and your answers might not come out the way you intend it to. You could also think that some answers might sound better than the honest answer. Get rid of such thoughts. Nothing will be better than the truth. Making answers that are not entirely truthful thinking that it would bring more benefit for your case can work the other way around. It can be a noose you are slowly tying around your neck, by yourself. So be honest.

Testifying in court for your divorce or for any other court hearing is nowhere near easy. What’s easy is getting nervous and flustered while at the witness stand. However, with the right preparation and guidance, you will do well. Stick to these tips – it will really help a lot when you testify in court for your divorce case.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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