Divorce is fraught with extreme emotions, and it’s easy to get caught up in anger or sorrow related to the dissolution of your marriage. However, in divorce court proceedings, it’s important to keep your feelings in check, and show proper respect for the judge and the court during your case.
Antagonizing a judge or behaving poorly in a court of law can cause an unfavorable ruling against you, or may even cause you to be charged with contempt of court or another offense. Follow these basics of courtroom etiquette to stay in good graces with court officials:
- Turn off your cell phone – Few things arouse the ire of judges more than cell phones ringing or buzzing in the courtroom. Before your hearing, be sure to turn your device off, or, better yet, leave it at home or in your car.
- Avoid confrontation – If it’s likely that interacting with your spouse will result in one of you causing a scene, avoid contact. Your spouse may try to goad you into a reaction to make you look bad in front of the judge. Resist the temptation to engage in an argument or other altercation.
- Listen to your attorney – Your family law attorney is a professional with years of experience in handling divorce cases. His or her advice is invaluable. By following your attorney’s instructions regarding proper courtroom etiquette or behavior, you can avoid faux pas or other mistakes that may harm your efforts to obtain a fair and equitable dissolution of your marriage.
- Dress professionally – When you’re in court, you’re expected to dress in a manner that respects the institution. While you don’t have to wear a tuxedo or a cocktail dress, professional-looking clothing will help foster a favorable opinion in the judge and other court officials.
- Be on time – Courts have a lot of cases to handle each day. Showing up on time for proceedings shows that you respect the officials and the process. Plan on arriving to the courtroom 15 minutes early. Give yourself plenty of time to park and go through mandatory security screening.
- Do not argue – Even if a ruling goes against you, avoid arguing with the judge in court. It’s seen as disrespectful and will not endear the judge to your cause.
- No outbursts – Avoid disrupting the proceedings, even if your spouse or his or her attorney say something that isn’t true or which angers you. Let your attorney advocate for you. Don’t sabotage his or her efforts with inappropriate behavior.
Judges and court officials are humans just like the rest of us. Stay on their good side, and it’s likely that they’ll hear your side of the story with a more sympathetic ear. Antagonize them, and they may view your spouse more favorably, especially if he or she is observing all the rules of courtroom conduct.
Nevada residents seeking a skilled Las Vegas divorce attorney can trust the McFarling Law Group to help them during this difficult time. McFarling Law Group focuses on family law, and provides trustworthy legal advice for men and women dealing with property division, child custody, and other issues related to divorce. To learn more, call 702-565-4335.