If you’ve read Part 1 of our posts on Going to Battle in Family Court, you’ve already learned some important tips that will help you organize your case and put your best foot forward. However, even the most organized person may still be shaken by the intimidating atmosphere of a courtroom. Consider these additional recommendations in preparing for your day in court:
- Investigate educational seminars in your community. Many courthouses offer free workshops where you can learn what to expect when you arrive for your day in court. Call or visit your local courthouse to ask for information, and take advantage of any classes that may benefit you. You can never be too prepared.
- Spend a day in court to learn about customs. Go to the courthouse where your matter will be heard. Spend a few hours in a courtroom watching the process and learning how lawyers present their cases. Take note of any tactics or customs that may be helpful to you. Remember, the judge in your case will not expect you to have the experience or knowledge of a lawyer, nor should you try to use sophisticated legal arguments or tactics. The purpose of this exercise is simply to familiarize yourself with the hearing process and courtroom customs.
- Maintain composure. This is where the organizational tactics discussed in Part 1 of these posts will help. Especially in family law matters, you should expect an emotionally-charged day in court. Do not expect your ex to follow the rules or play nice. By preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, you will be in a position to clearly present your case to the judge and will present as a level-headed, calm, reasonable person. Stay focused on presenting your case and remain as unemotional as possible.
For more information on separation, divorce, and other family law matters, please visit MyOntarioDivorce.com.
Robert Berman B.C.L, LL.B
Founder & Family Lawyer