Preparing for Your Day in Divorce Court
Many people who go through a divorce have never been involved in a court proceeding before. Divorce is by its nature very stressful, and you may feel particularly nervous about facing that inevitable day in court. Your College Station divorce lawyer will help you prepare, but the following provides a basic idea of what you can expect.
Preparation Is Key
The most important thing for you to do before your court appearance is to be as prepared as possible. To some extent you will of necessity have to be prepared, for certain matters must be handled prior to your court date. For instance, you will need to make a complete list of all assets and debts. Your spouse will also need to do this, and both will need to complete a list of the way in which the property should be divided. If you are the person seeking the divorce, you are considered the petitioner, and the other party the respondent. Any documents that the petitioner files with the court must also be sent to the respondent.
Your Day in Court
It is very important that you do not arrive late to court. Give yourself extra time in case of traffic. You also need to provide yourself time to find the courtroom to which your case has been assigned. In larger jurisdictions there will be a number of courtrooms. Be sure also to dress professionally. It is important that you make a good impression.
Inside the courtroom the bailiff keeps order and helps the judge with documents and exhibits. You will also find that there is a clerk who is in charge of scheduling cases, and a court reporter who makes a written record of the proceedings.
When the hearing begins, the bailiff will announce your case and you, your spouse, and both attorneys will approach the bench. Your attorney will explain to the judge that he is representing you in a divorce action. Any person who is called upon to testify will swear an oath to tell the truth, including you. When you are called up to testify, you will take the witness stand at the request of your attorney, who will ask you questions. This is referred to as a direct examination. Your attorney will have prepared you for these questions, as well as any questions that you will likely be asked upon cross examination by the other attorney.
When all testimony has been completed the attorneys for both sides will present their closing arguments, and then the judge will render a decision. If your case is complicated the judge may decide to set another court date at which time he will render his final decision.
For Legal Assistance
Divorce can be highly contentious and technical. For this reason it is in your best interests to work with a strong College Station divorce lawyer. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.