Practical Advice for Court

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Heading to court can be stressful for everyone — whether it’s your case that is being tried, or if you are being called as a witness to testify in a case.  Since it is not something most people do every day, we often get questions about the process and what should be expected.    One of the most common questions is: What do I wear?  It really depends on you as a person and what you are comfortable in.  While some people think proper attire is suits and ties for men and dresses for women – that is not always the case.  If you do not normally wear a suit and tie, then you will be uncomfortable when you are testifying which could be a distraction.  If you wear a suit and tie every day for work, and that is your “normal,” then it is fine to dress in the same manner for court.    Judges want people to be presentable but that can include business casual – dress pants and a nice shirt or something similar.  You want the Judge to know that this case is very important to you and your appearance should not distract from the matter being litigated.

Try to arrive at the courthouse at least 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled hearing time.  You will have to find parking and go through security .  While each courthouse has specific rules about what you can and cannot bring in – food, drink and weapons (pocket knives included) need to be left in your car.  If you do bring in your cell phone, make sure it is turned off or on silent.    If you are not sure where the courtroom is located, be sure to ask a deputy or court personnel.

When testifying,  listen carefully to the question and answer the judge.   While the attorneys are the ones asking questions, it is important for the judge to hear your answer and see your face and expressions as you testify.  While it may feel unnatural, nothing about this process really feels “comfortable.”  If there is an objection, wait for the Judge to rule on it before answering the question.  Most importantly, tell the truth.  If you don’t remember, it is better to say you don’t remember than to try and make up an answer of what might have happened.

Be respectful of the court.  When the judge enters, stand up.  Try to get a good night’s sleep so you are alert and prepared for the hearing.

If you have any questions related to this article or a question related to divorce, please contact us at 704-243-9693 or visit us at

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