5 Tips for Testifying in Your Upcoming Court Case

5 Tips for Testifying in Your Upcoming Court Case

If you’re going through a divorce, you may never have had to testify in court before. But if you and the other party haven’t been able to reach an agreement, you may have to do it now. It’s normal to be nervous before you testify for the first time—or even the fiftieth. But the following tips may help give you the confidence you need to testify effectively.

  1. Tell the truth: It’s always better to tell the truth. You don’t want to make the judge think you’re trying to hide something. If you’re concerned about how certain information will come across to your judge, talk about it with your attorney before the hearing. Your attorney will appreciate you telling them the weaker areas of your case so they can have enough time to prepare a winning strategy.

 

  1. Make a good first impression: First impressions count, especially in court. Remember, your judge could decide your case based off as little as an hour’s worth of testimony and observations of you and the other party—so you definitely want to put your best foot forward. You can do this by dressing appropriately (business casual is fine) and maintaining your composure throughout the proceeding. Unfortunately, judges tend to take a negative view of litigants who lose their temper so the other party’s attorney may try to make you angry. If you’re prone to anger, make sure to practice effective coping skills before court.

 

  1. Take Your time: If you’re nervous, you may feel anxious. It may feel like your thoughts are running a million miles a minute. Before taking the stand, take a moment to breathe and compose yourself. If you’re scared you may forget something on the stand, you can write out what you’d like to remember beforehand. If you do draw a blank when your attorney asks you a question, it’s possible your attorney can use that document to help you refresh your memory. Make sure to talk to your attorney about this option before court.

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  1. Let the attorney know when you don’t understand a question: This is especially important when the other party’s attorney starts asking you questions. They can sometimes be hostile and try to trip you up. If you don’t understand a question or didn’t hear the full question, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat it or tell them you don’t understand.

 

  1. Stop when you hear “objection”: When one of the attorneys asks you a question, the other attorney may object to all or part of the question. When you hear one of them say “objection,” it’s important to stop talking immediately. The judge will decide whether you should answer the question. If the judge says the objection is “sustained,” you don’t have to answer the question. Instead, wait for the attorney to ask you another question. If the judge says the objection is “overruled,” you do have to answer the question. At this point, you may have forgotten what it was so feel free to ask the attorney to repeat the question.

Testifying in court can be a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparation is key so make sure you have an attorney who will discuss your fears and concerns ahead of time and help you get ready so you can testify with confidence the day of your trial. Our knowledgeable family law attorneys know how important your case is and strive to make every effort to help you feel as prepared as possible. Contact our office today for more information or to set up a consultation.

Call or Text Us Today! (919) 870-0466

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