Going to court can be intimidating, even for attorneys. If you are representing yourself in your divorce or custody case please keep the following list in mind:
- Show up on time, early is best;
- Always dress appropriately. Do not go to court wearing sweatpants or jeans. Dress in your Sunday best and look polished;
- Bring copies of all your documents. Even though the hearing may only be on one issue, bring anything you think may be relevant, you never know when you may have to present a document;
- Check the calendar posted outside the court so you can check-in with your calendar number to the clerk;
- Always check-in with the court clerk. This lets the court know you are present and ready to proceed;
- When your case is called walk to the table and introduce yourself to the judge. Say your name and whether you are the Petitioner or Respondent;
- Always address the judge as Your Honor, it shows respect and the judge will appreciate it;
- Do interrupt or talk over the opposing party and especially not the judge;
- Answer the judge’s questions with short concise answers, when possible;
- Make sure to verbalize all answers and nod of the head is not an acceptable answer as the court reporter cannot memorialize physical actions into the transcript; and
- Always say thank you to the judge when you are dismissed, even if the hearing did not go your way be cordial as this will most likely not be the last time in that courtroom.
Going to court is stressful and time consuming, please contact our Beverly Hills office if you have an upcoming court date and would like discuss your options.