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How to prepare for family court

Although 2019 just started, many couples have begun to file for divorce around Texas. Some cities are more prone to divorce proceedings than others. Recent statistics show that Alpine, Rusk, Rockdale, Bonham and Atlanta have the highest divorce rates in the state. 

No matter how amicable the divorce may seem, contentious issues that couples need to resolve in court usually exist. You need to decide upon issues ranging from child custody to paternity. Regardless of which side you fall on, you want to be ready for when your day in court comes, and that means being aware of how to dress and behave. 

What to wear

You need to dress appropriately for the courtroom. A good rule of thumb is to dress the same way you would for a job interview. You want to appear professional in front of the judge. That means women should wear a nice dress, skirt, blouse or suit. Men need to wear nice slacks with a button-up shirt and tie. You do not want to walk in wearing a t-shirt, sunglasses or a hat. It is also vital that you do not show up with any food or drinks (this includes gum). The judge expects this attire out of everyone who steps foot in the court, so you need to dress to impress. 

Arrive on time

It should go without saying, but you need to be on your best behavior in the courtroom. Your spouse's side may not have anything negative to say about you, but you do not want the judge to develop a bad impression of you.

Part of this involves arriving early to the courtroom. Make sure you give yourself enough time to sit in traffic and get there on time. You also need to make arrangements for your kids. Unless your attorneys or the judge has suggested the children come with you, leave them out of the proceedings.

Leave your cell phone in your pocket

Silence your phone or other electronic devices and leave them in your pocket. If you cannot trust yourself to remember to do that, leave your cell phone at home or in the car. No judge will appreciate being interrupted by a ringing cell phone.

Address others with respect

When you speak to the judge, address him or her as "Your Honour." Address others as "Mr.", "Ms." or "Doctor." Do not use first names.

Do not interrupt

Only one person can speak at a time. Always speak to the judge, not to your spouse, unless asked to do otherwise.

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