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Divorce Court Demeanor Matters

Aug 17, 2007
A family law attorney or other divorce lawyer will guide you through the rigors of divorce court. But it is important to remember to be civil when addressing your soon-to-be ex-spouse, especially when concessions are made that you dislike.

Television allows us to see the transgressions made during celebrity divorces, but in reality, the same transgressions are made in courtrooms all over the country. Being mindful of your conduct will not only make the proceedings easier for you to sit through, but it will also give your lawyer a stronger bargaining power in front of the judge.

Before entering divorce court, it is vitally important that your lawyer and you work out as many details and issues as possible with your spouse's lawyer. This is usually performed in what is called an early settlement panel, or divorce mediation. This panel takes place in a court house and is attended by your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you and both attorneys.

Family law attorneys listen to both sides of the divorce settlement while both counselors go over property divisions, any marital debt that has accumulated and any other issues that comprise the marital settlement agreement. This process can be extremely helpful because it allows many of the issues to be settled between the couople before a judge even hears the case. In some instances, such as in divorce mediations, issues can be resolved and agreed upon without ever having to go to divorce court.

We have all seen cases on television or in the movies where couples are brought into divorce court, and in the end the "good spouse" wins. In reality, this is not so much the case. A judge has the free will to make his or her own decisions about a case, and that decision may not always be in favor of you. When proceeding with a divorce settlement, it is important to remember this fact because it will help you retain a cool demeanor in front of the judge if something is decided against you.

The most difficult time to do this, of course, is when children are involved. What a judge decides regarding child custody and visitation rights will rest on the evidence your lawyer presents and the custody laws governing your state. But often a judge makes his or her decision about joint physical custody based on their personal instincts. So it is important to enter a courtroom with an open mind and a clear outlook on how things could turn out in the end.

Your family law attorney can guide you through your time spent in divorce court. Following their lead is very important, especially if you need to speak in front of the judge. As with any other profession, common courtesy is expected in a court of law. This means always addressing the judge as "your honor," and remembering to thank him or her for your time in front of the bench.

If you are trying to present yourself in a professional manner, remember to never make snide or condescending remarks to your spouse. This will only cause you more harm in terms of the divorce settlement. When a joint physical custody battle occurs between you and your spouse, keeping your cool can be difficult.

Never bring the children into the courtroom because it will only make things more difficult for everyone involved. Lawyers will always come prepared to court, but to help obtain all the information discussed in divorce court, take notes that will assist your attorney with the proceedings. Being prepared as possible will only benefit you, and hopefully bring about a positive outcome in the end.

Divorce court appearances can be short-lived or drawn out over months at a time. The best way to keep your proceeding relatively brief is by remaining mindful of your actions during the ordeal. Going in with the realization that a judge may not rule in your favor will help you maintain the dignity needed to make it through the settlement with a few bumps and minimal scars.

Unlike many of the celebrity divorces shown on television, divorce proceedings for average couples can be done with speed, accuracy and little bickering. Remembering the proper etiquette while following your lawyers lead will help the overall experience.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our divorce portal for more great tips on divorce court matters. While you are there don't forget to claim your free gift.
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