3 Ways You Can Help Yourself in Your Upcoming Divorce Hearing

Whether you have an attorney or are representing yourself, you want to be prepared to have the best possible outcome in any divorce hearing.  This article will discuss three steps that are always important in preparing for any court appearance:

1. Know Your Goal.   You need to understand what the purpose of the hearing is and clearly identify your goal for the proceeding. Emotions often run strong during a divorce, and sadness and anger are almost inevitably going to occupy the minds of both parties and take your focus away from getting what you want. To achieve a successful outcome, you need to think through your strategy:  

  • What options are likely to be an outcome of this hearing?
  • How does this hearing play into your overall strategy for getting what you want in the divorce?
  • What would a third party consider fair?

If you have a good idea of what will be accomplished in this hearing, then you can do your part to keep on track and laser focused to achieving your ends.

2. Get Organized.  Your anxiety will be less if you know when and where you need to be in court and what will happen.  Leave plenty of time to get there.  Arrange for child care in advance if you have children. If your attorney has requested any documents, get them to him or her well in advance of the hearing date.  If you are representing yourself, make sure you have identified what you need and bring several copies of each document. Here’s a short checklist:

 3. Look and Behave Professionally.  Impressions are very important, and even if you are represented by counsel, you want to look and act professionally. The judge and/or staff will make unconscious judgments of your clothing, appearance and demeanor. Wear attire that would be presentable for a business or business casual setting and something you feel comfortable in. Be wary of showing any hostile gestures: speak calmly and avoid glaring or sarcastic looks.  

Knowing your goal, getting organized and looking and behaving professionally are simple tips that are easy to implement, but they will help you succeed in having a great outcome at your hearing.