Going to a court hearing can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time in…
When you are preparing for a hearing in court, for example, the Wake County Family Courts, it can be a stressful time, especially if you have never been before. Many people have never had to go to court for a hearing and do not know what to expect.
Our experienced Raleigh lawyers are sharing some helpful tips on how to prepare for appearing in family court.
Questions to Prepare You for Family Court
Before you go to family court, here are a few non-legal things to keep in mind:
1. Research and Confirm the Location
Be sure you know where the courthouse is, where to park and what courtroom you will be in. You don’t want to get lost and stressed out before you testify in court. If you have never been to the courthouse, take a trip beforehand (if your schedule allows) in order to make sure you know where you need to be on your important day.
When in doubt, email your Raleigh family law attorney and ask for directions and information about parking, the courtroom location, and any other questions you may have.
2. Dress to Impress
Our suggestion for court attire is to dress as if you are going to church or on a job interview – with a conservative style. Some judges are more conservative than others, so it is hard to say how they may feel about tattoos, piercings, or particular wardrobe choices.
You should speak to your Raleigh divorce attorney if you have any questions as to whether you should change your appearance in any way. When in doubt, always go with the conservative choice.
3. Be on Time
Keeping the judge, or your attorney, waiting is never a good idea. If your attorney tells you to be in the courtroom at 9 am you should be there at 9 am, if not a few minutes early. The court schedules are often unpredictable, so you need to be sure your tardiness does not throw off the court schedule and displease the judge.
Keep in mind that you should allow for the time necessary to compensate for traffic, parking, getting through security, and getting up to the courtroom. We recommend leaving an extra 30 minutes earlier than you normally would so that if something unexpected arises, you have some “buffer time” to compensate.
4. Be SURE to Put Your Cell Phone on Silent
Many counties will confiscate cell phones if they ring. Sometimes, in a quiet courtroom, even a phone ringing on the “vibrate” mode is too loud. You do not want to draw unwanted attention to yourself due to your cell phone.
5. Do Not Approach the Judge Without Permission
If you are representing yourself, do you not approach the judge unless the judge gives you permission to approach the bench. Here are some examples to explain the rules of the courtroom:
- If you need to hand something to the judge, give it to the bailiff
- If you have a question before your case, approach the gate at the bar and ask to speak to the bailiff first. He or she will then direct you to the next action you should take.
6. Be Polite
Do not make faces or roll your eyes at the judge at any time, even if you are in the gallery. You may be watching your friend’s hearing out of support and not like what is going on, but you must not make a face, roll your eyes or may any type of noise. It can get you into trouble with the judge. If the judge figures out you are aligned with a particular party, it will not help their situation either.
Contact a Raleigh Family Law Attorney About Your Family Court Appearance
Keeping these tips in mind will make your trip to the courthouse a little less stressful and allow you to put your best foot forward during your day in court. If you have any questions regarding testifying in court concerning your Raleigh family law case, we would welcome the opportunity to schedule an initial consultation for you with one of our attorneys. Call us at (919) 301-8843 or fill out the form below.