If you are headed to family court either for a custody or child support case, emotions can run high for both parties involved. One of the best strategies you might have is to keep cool in court and not come off as overly emotional or irate. Being calm and respectful in court and in front of judge can go a long way, and is something you can practice ahead of time with your attorney. Here are five ways you can shine with a calm presence in court.
1. Stick to the Facts
While you might be angry at your ex, name calling or bringing any insults or disputes into court with you might not do you any favors. If you are fighting for custody, have a clearly defined plan laid out with your attorney ahead of time. If you are seeking child support, having back-up documentation of financial items ready is key. This can make a huge difference and will go much further in court than vaguely describing why your ex-spouse is unfit for custody or should financially provide more without solid reasons in place.
2. Let Your Attorney do the Heavy Lifting
You don’t need to get through a court hearing alone, and your family law attorney should be right there with you to get through proceedings successfully. If you are nervous or are worried that you might lose control of your emotions, your attorney usually does the talking (unless it is a trial or evidentiary hearing) and lays out facts and evidence on your behalf. While there may be times that you might be asked a few specific questions, let your attorney lead the process.
3. Get Your Emotions in Check
If you know that you tend to get emotional or this will be a heated day for you, put some strategies into place before you even enter the courtroom. Seeing a counselor the week before your hearing can help you sort through feelings ahead of time. Avoid stressors and get a good night’s sleep before your case so that you can be present and won’t be stressed or tired on top of such a big day. While there are things that you can do in court to help stifle your emotions and keep calm, being ready in advance is a better plan of action.
4. Make Sure You are Playing Reasonably
Have an honest check-in with your attorney to make sure you aren’t wanting too much when it comes to custody or child support agreements. It is important to always remember the most important factor in all of this is your children, so don’t try to fight for more than is reasonable or be aggressive to your ex because you are angry. Even if your ex-spouse did something to you that you are mad about, this doesn’t mean they aren’t a good parent or trying to do what is best for your child.
5. Take Court Seriously
How you handle yourself in court could make or break the judge’s opinion when it comes your overall accountability and could ultimately have ramifications on your case. Be present, turn off your phone, and don’t bring kids to court. Get to court on time, and stick by your attorney. Don’t engage with or fight with your ex-spouse in the hallway, since you never know who might be listening.
Sometimes a calm, collected version of yourself can speak volumes to a judge. If your ex-spouse can get emotional and might not present well in court, you can guide the process with your presence and peace of mind. While a judge’s ruling will come out of what is best for children, your evolving family, and the facts, you don’t need to derail or make the process harder by not staying calm and collected. Having respect for the judge and court can go a long way. If you are looking for a family law attorney in the Minneapolis area, contact us to help you navigate the process.