15 Mar 5 Divorce Trial Tips in South Carolina
In an ideal world, the best scenario for a divorce case is that it would be filed, the parties would agree on all of the issues, and then they would enter a settlement proposal where they could finalize their divorce. Unfortunately, given the huge emotional burden of divorce, it is common that there are hotly contested legal hearings required prior to the entry of a final divorce judgment. This is particularly true when it comes to determining a parent’s child support obligation and fighting over legal and physical custody of a minor child.
Despite divorce trials and hearings being relatively common, many litigants in a divorce case have never been to court before and have no idea what to expect. Below are five tips you should read prior to any type of divorce trial or hearing in South Carolina.
Speak Loudly and Slowly
There will be a court reporter at the proceeding who will have the job of typing everything you say. You will want to speak loud enough so the court reporter can hear you. Also, be sure to say “yes” or “no” out loud rather than just nodding or shaking your head. Speak slowly enough that they can write everything you say. It can be very distracting and frustrating to a judge when a party does not respect the court reporter. A judge may even pause you in the middle of your train of thought to ask you to start over.
Do Not Answer Anything You Are Not Asked
Litigants often have to resist the urge to tell their whole life story in court, especially when there is a long history or if the other lawyer intentionally leaves pauses in between questions to see whether the party will blurt something out. However, you do not want to volunteer any information that may be damaging to your case if you are not asked directly about it.
Stick to the Facts
It can be tempting to resort to name calling and emotions, particularly in a heated divorce case. However, it is best to stick to the facts of your case. The judge will likely appreciate that you are not wasting their time.
Nail Your First Impression
Out in the world, first impressions are everything. A courtroom is no different. A judge is just like any other person when it comes to first impressions. Make sure you are polite and deferential when addressed, and make sure your clothes are clean and not wrinkled. These non-verbal cues help a judge know you are serious about your case.
Focus on Your Goals
South Carolina family judges have large caseloads. Accordingly, they are not going to remember every last aspect of your case. You need to help the judge understand what issues deserve the highest priority in your opinion and explain why.
Get Help with Your Divorce Trial Today
Attending and testifying in a divorce hearing or trial can be scary. The experienced Mount Pleasant family law attorneys at Klok Law Firm LLC can prepare you for a hearing and go through questions with you so you understand what you are going to be asked and how you should answer these questions. This way, you can approach going into any hearing or trial with confidence.
Contact us today for assistance.