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What to Expect in Divorce Court

What to Expect in Divorce Court

It’s no secret that divorce court can be a scary prospect; for everyone except the judges and divorce attorneys. They’re used to it. The rest worry about it because it’s an unknown. For some the worry quickly evolves into fear. Fear of the unknown is not a new concept, but it’s a universally underestimated one.

How do you address the fear of the unknown when facing an upcoming date in divorce court? The same way you address the fear of the unknown when facing any situation – knowledge. The best way to stamp out fear because of the unknown is to make it known through knowledge. It sounds obvious, but many are too paralyzed by their fear to make even the most obvious move to remedy the situation.

If you’re scared of divorce court because you don’t know what to expect, start with a few basics.

  1. You: The only thing you are completely in control of in Divorce Court is you. You should know the facts of your case. Divorce Court isn’t black and white. There’s no script or predestined result. Be prepared by reading the paperwork presented regarding your case prior to arriving on the scene. Don’t let fear, stress or emotion take over in Court. It’s normal to be scared, in fact, it would be strange if you weren’t stressed out. But don't let your emotions be in charge during your Court date. Tell the truth – even if your spouse lies.
  2. Your Lawyer: You can expect your lawyer to be prepared in Divorce Court. They will be familiar with all aspects of your case and know the information presented to the judge. They will be aware of what questions will be asked and what your testimony will be, etc. There’s no script, but it’s not completely off the cuff either. You can expect your lawyer to communicate with your spouse’s lawyer. Family law is a pretty small community and lawyers frequently go up against each other in a number of cases. They are expected to communicate and attempt to resolve approachable issues and narrow the issues that cannot be resolved out of Court for presentation in Divorce Court. You should expect your divorce attorney to talk to you throughout the process. They’ll provide you with information regarding status discussions with your spouse’s lawyer, updates on settlement potential/narrowing of contested issues, regular status updates on your matter, etc.
  3. The Judge: Expect that his day will be packed with many cases and there may be some juggling with the scheduling of your case. Cases are typically prioritized with domestic violence cases receiving top priority, followed by emergency child custody cases and then…everything else. Expect the Judge to require both lawyers to provide a time estimate for your case. This allows for more appropriate scheduling even though estimating the time needed for a family law case can be extremely difficult. Expect the Judge to want to know why you are there – why the matter has not been settled.

For more information about what to expect inDivorce Court, contact the Arizona divorce attorneys at Arizona Family Law Attorneys today.

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