Court appearances are required in nearly all family law cases. If it is necessary to go to court you should be fully prepared for such an appearance. Anxiety and nervousness are common. In our experience most people do extremely well. Know what is expected of you and what your goals are for that Court appearance. How are you going to accomplish what it is you are there to do?
Although we are quite willing to take a case to court if necessary, it is the philosophy of this office that a contested hearing before the court should be used only as a last resort. We always pursue options for settlement and the litigation concurrently. The Judge or Magistrate knows very little about you, your spouse, your children, or your situation. They can only hear what is presented in a limited period of time. The parties will always be the best people to resolve the dispute. We have been able to settle the vast majority of our cases since 1990.
If going to Court is necessary, we want our client and our witnesses to be as prepared as possible. We make sure they understand what will occur at the hearing and what will be expected of them. The attorney will meet with the client and talk to witnesses prior to a hearing to prepare them to testify and feel comfortable and ready for court, but trial preparation begins long before that. We enlist our client's participation in case preparation from the start of the case. Our client is the one who lives the case and is our best resource in preparing for settlement and for hearings.
If you are handling your own matter, please see our blog posts on preparing for hearing. You might also consider Assisted Self-Representation (Unbundled Services) so be sure to review our website and blog articles on that topic as well.
Unlike legal advice, these articles will not help you to directly apply the law to your unique situation. Contact us if you wish to schedule a consult for legal advice.