Preparing for Your First Divorce Hearing: 10 Tips for Meeting Your Goals

You and your divorce attorney have meticulously collected essential evidence, organized effective arguments and reviewed New York family court laws to win you the best possible divorce terms. Your demeanor and appearance at the hearing can also significantly affect the outcome of your hearings. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare can empower you to make the most out of your day in court.

Following are 10 tips for making a strong courtroom appearance:

  1. Make a pre-trial run — Visit the courthouse prior to the date of your hearing to familiarize yourself with your travel route, parking, security screening and the format of the courtroom
  2. Wear your power suit — By dressing in pressed, neat business attire, you demonstrate your respect for the proceedings and gain the confidence to achieve your objectives
  3. Arrange for reliable childcare — You need to concentrate on the proceedings, not entertaining your bored children
  4. Do not be late — Anticipate potential problems such as heavy traffic, a delayed train or a tardy babysitter—none of which are legitimate excuses for being late
  5. Clear security — Find out ahead of your hearing date those items you are prohibited from bringing into the courthouse and clear any special medical needs, such as insulin needles or oxygen, that can delay your entry
  6. Turn off or mute your cell phone — The beeping, vibrating or ringing of your phones is disruptive and disrespectful to the court
  7. Remain attentive — Notify your business colleagues and family that you will not be responding to texts, emails and phone calls until the hearing has ended
  8. Get organized — Organize documents and notes so you can quickly access important information during the crucial moments of your hearing
  9. Stay composed — Your poised response to untruthful, misleading and mean comments made by your spouse reflects favorably on you to the judge
  10. Remain courteous to the judge — You may be in front of the same judge in the future, so remain polite even if the court issues a bad ruling

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