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EIGHT TIPS FOR TESTIFYING IN DIVORCE COURT

Testifying in court before a judge can be very intimidating.  How you present your self during the hours or days when you are testifying can make or break your case. 

Here are some tips to help you if your divorce case is going to a hearing or a trial.

1. Answer the question asked of you.  It is very important that you listen to the question asked by the attorney and answer only that question.  

2. If your spouse's attorney is cross examining you.  Don't elaborate.  Only answer the question asked.  If your attorney believes that further explanation is neccessary, she will ask you about it when it is her turn.

3. Don't be evasive in your answers. Even if there is a bad fact about you that you would rather the judge didn't know, you still have to answer the question. If you don't, and try to evade the question, it is likely that you will appear to be lying to the judge.  It is better to admit that you made a mistake rather than looking like a liar.

4. Keep your anger in check.  It is ok to be angry at your spouse if you feel like you have been wronged.  However, showing those emotions in court will only alienate the judge and harm your divorce case.

5. Dress nicely.  Remember all people, including judges make snap decisions about people by how the dress and look.  Cover up tattoos and remove piercings and wear your Sunday best.  It is not neccessary to wear a suit if you don't regularly wear a suit.  It is also important that you are comfortable.

6. Be prepared.  Make sure you meet with your attorney before the hearing or trial to go over your testimony.  You need to be on the same page with your lawyer regarding the strategy for your case.

7. Listen to your lawyer's advice regarding your testimony.  It is always important to take your lawyers advice, but when it comes to your testimony it is crucial.  You may think that one fact is very important to present to the judge, but your lawyer disagrees.  Remember, your lawyer is familiar with both the law and the judge. Therefore, listen to your lawyer about the focus of your testimony.

8. "Objection" means stop talking.  If the opposing attorney stands up and objects during your testimony, stop talking untill the judge tells you it is ok to continue talking.  If the judge says "sustained" that means that you can no longer talk about the issue you were asked about.  If the judge says "overruled" you can continue with your testimony.

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Hoppes & Cutrer, LLC
959 W. Glade Rd
Hurst, TX 76054

Phone: 817-864-8594
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