While many divorcing couples do succeed in keeping their divorce out of court thanks to methods like mediation, sometimes issues arise that require the help of a judge. Divorce is complicated, and even couples hoping for the most amicable of divorces may find themselves disagreeing with each other. When two spouses cannot agree on one or more aspect of their divorce, they end up in divorce court. If you believe your case is headed to court, do not panic. Disagreements happen, and with important issues like alimony, asset division, and parenting time on the line, it is important that matters get resolved properly. Divorce court can be nerve wracking, but there are a few tips to keep in mind that can help ensure you have as stress free a process as possible. If you have an upcoming court date, here is what you need to know.
Prepare for Discovery
Once it has been determined that your case is headed to court, you and your spouse will be required to share information relevant to your divorce. This is an official legal process known as discovery, and the information shared will help you and your spouse prepare for your day in court. Expect to share financial documents, disclose assets, provide information on any children involved. In general, the more complicated the divorce case is, the more thorough the discovery will be. Your lawyer, your spouse’s representation, or the court may call on the help of experts during the discovery period as well. These experts may be needed for purposes such as psychological examinations, appraisal of property, and valuing a business. Throughout the discovery process, work with your attorney to share any and all pertinent information, and be sure your spouse does the same. If your spouse does not comply, or you believe details have been left out, consult your attorney. They can ask the court to order your spouse to provide the information, or your spouse may face consequences for noncompliance.
Keep Your Cool
Even a smooth, conflict free divorce can be emotionally taxing, and facing a court date can add even more stress. With your court date looming, do your best to stay calm and level headed. Do not let the emotions surrounding your divorce get the best of you. The judge is going to handle your case professionally, and expects both parties involved to do the same. Be prepared to answer any questions you are asked calmly and to the best of your ability. Focus on the issues at hand, not the unresolved emotions your divorce has brought up. If you need emotional help, divorce court is not the place. Instead, consult a therapist. If you believe nerves will get the best of you on your day in court, ask a therapist about tips for staying calm.
Find a Babysitter
Divorce court is stressful for most adults, so imagine the impact it can have on children. Unless you have been specifically asked to bring your children to court, leave them at home. While you may think having your children with you could be beneficial for your case, the reality is that divorce court is no place for children. For a child, watching their parents battle it out on opposite sides of a courtroom can be extremely intimidating. Most judges know this, and disapprove of bringing children. If testimony is needed from your children, it will be collected in private.
Choose the Right Attorney
During this stressful process, you need a support system in place. Part of that system should be a qualified divorce attorney. Divorce is a complicated process, especially if litigation is necessary, so it is in your best interest consult an attorney beforehand. Look for an attorney who you can trust and who works well with you. This is the person who will handle your case in court, so be sure that you both agree on the approach to your case. Ask potential attorneys how they would handle your specific case in court, and of any past experience they have in the courtroom. Choosing the right attorney is important, as working with the wrong lawyer could negatively impact your case. People often think an aggressive lawyer is the best bet, but one who uses unnecessary adversarial tactics may not be appreciated by a judge. An overly aggressive attorney can lead to lost time, money, and frustration.
If you are in DuPage County, a qualified attorney with Keller Legal Services can assist you. Our attorneys use proven methods to save you time, money, and stress during your divorce. Call 630-868-3093 to review your case with a qualified Wheaton area divorce attorney today.