The courtroom can be a frightening place for divorcing couples. Naturally, you’ll want to know what to expect, especially if you’ve never been inside a courtroom before. It’s quite different from what you see on television; there are some things to keep in mind to help you prepare. Here’s what you should know.
Basic Courtroom Etiquette
Treat the courtroom like you might treat a job interview. Make sure your cell phone is turned off or on silent (not vibrate, you’ll be surprised at how loud a vibrating cell phone can be in a quiet courtroom). Also, don’t bring in drinks or food, don’t chew gum, and make sure to remove your hat or sunglasses. Look for signs in your specific courtroom that list anything else that isn’t allowed.
Be Prepared for the Metal Detectors
All courtrooms screen for weapons. How this is done varies from location to location, but you can expect to go through a metal detector. Metal detectors won’t pick up small pieces of metal in your clothing, like pants buttons, but they will pick up on keys left in your pocket. You’ll likely be asked to put your purse, wallet, or other personal effects in a bin to be scanned while you walk through the metal detector. It’s not much different from going to the airport.
You May See People You Don’t Know
Many people are surprised that divorce court isn’t private. The courtrooms are public and anyone can sit in on a case. While this means you can ask family or friends to come support you (this is not recommended) it also means that you’ll likely see some people you don’t know. Be prepared for strange faces and stay focused on your case.
There Won’t Be a Jury
Juries are typically used for criminal cases and aren’t necessary in divorce cases. Your divorce will be presided over by a commissioner or a judge. Remember to call the judge “your honor” when addressing him or her to show respect.
Contact Lasley Family Law Today
Divorce is best handled by a competent divorce attorney. Facing family court alone, even with a few ideas of what to expect, can be a harrowing experience. Contact our office for a consultation today to discuss your divorce options, to file for divorce, or to get help preparing for an upcoming divorce hearing. Call now at (813) 873-9047.