It may seem strange for a Florida divorce lawyer to say, but a big part of our job is to keep you out of court. Because once you go to court for your divorce, your post-divorce life is in the hands of a stranger. Of course, this stranger – a judge – is supposed to rule fairly. But judges are human. They can have a bad day just like the rest of us. The best-case scenario is not to have a divorce case in court at all.
However, if your Florida divorce case does end up in court, here is how you should prepare yourself:
Confer with your attorney and take his or her advice on how you should dress and act in the courtroom. They know this judge a lot better than you do.
Always be respectful and address the judge as “Your Honor” if you are asked to speak. Which means you DO NOT speak unless you are asked.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it: don’t make snide remarks or get into a spat with your spouse in front of the judge.
Take careful notes throughout the proceedings but do not interrupt your attorney at any time.
Be patient. You sometimes will have to wait for your case to be called – many times, cases before you run over and you may even be asked to reschedule.
Don’t expect the judge to believe everything you say or always rule in your favor. Make sure all your arguments are backed up with as much documentation as possible.
Don’t expect the judge to “get back” at your spouse for you; that is not the purpose of a divorce trial.
You should expend every effort to settle your divorce outside the court, but if you do have to go to court, you better your chances of getting what you want by playing by the rules.