Nobody loves divorce court, despite the fact that roughly half of couples will spend some time there. If you are on your way to see the judge, you may not know what to expect or how to prepare for the big day. Your divorce attorney can give you an idea of the physical structure of the room and the basics of what to anticipate. Here are some other things to keep in mind.
Promptness Counts in Divorce Court
It should go without saying, but by all means, be on time to court. In fact, be early. If you are late or do not show up at all, it gives the court a bad impression. Beyond that, you are giving your ex the opportunity to put his or her version of things into the court record without any opportunity to refute it. This is a big day: Be on time.
What to Say in Divorce Court
You will be asked questions. When that happens, answer them with as little fanfare as possible. Stick to the facts directly related to the actual question, not the back-story or related events. You do not want to waste the judge’s time and wear his or her patience. Whatever you do, do not speak out of turn or interrupt. Treat everyone in the room, including your ex, with respect. Listen carefully, and provide considered responses.
What Not to Say in Divorce Court
It should be obvious, but bears pointing out: Do not use expletives or colorful language that is offensive. Avoid any displays of agitation or skepticism, from eye rolling to facial expressions revealing disgust. No pounding the table, gasps, sighs, or headshakes. You want to maintain a respectful demeanor from beginning to end.
What to Wear to Divorce Court
When you are headed to court to end your marriage, you will not have control of the proceedings or what your soon-to-be ex has to say. What you will have control of is yourself. So, putting some thought into what to wear and the image you wish to present is worth considering. Choosing precisely the right attire for court can be tricky. Here are some basic tips to consider while eyeing your own wardrobe:
- Whatever your station in life, pull yourself together into a neat, clean package. Demonstrate self-respect, organization, and stability.
- Choose classic, yet elegant styles. It demonstrates that you are used to quality and that you are upstanding and respectable.
- Avoid anything that is ostentatious or suggestive. You do not want to look like a gold-digger.
Here is is how a few celebrities addressed the issue of what to wear in court:
- In her divorce from Matthew Mellon, Tamara Mellon chose a grey pencil skirt and cardigan to project a look of confidence and control.
- Nigella Lawson, in her divorce from Charles Saatchi, showed up to court in a black tailored suit, demonstrating that she was well put together and self-assured.
- Natasha Ramlogan always wore modest black dresses and heels for court appearances, creating a look of simple feminine elegance.