How Will Your Divorce Attorney Prepare You for Court Hearings?
Most people will rarely be in a courtroom during their lifetimes. As such, it can be an unfamiliar experience for those not accustomed to the setting and court procedures. Conversely, an experienced divorce attorney has been in a courtroom hundreds, if not thousands of times. A qualified and effective divorce attorney knows how to walk you through the hearing process and make sure that you are well prepared in advance.
Some hearings will be “motion” hearings; others may be “evidentiary” hearings. Motion hearings are those which ask the family court judge to rule on a written filing previously submitted to the court. The motion details your position on specific issues and includes written supporting documentation. Evidentiary court hearings are most common in child custody disputes. These court hearings are more complicated than motion hearings, so we’ll leave a full discussion of evidentiary hearings for another article. In this article, we discuss a few of the ways your divorce attorney will prepare you for your motion court hearing.
Discussing the Court Hearing Process
The best way to prepare for a hearing is to know what to expect. Throughout a divorce proceeding there may be multiple hearings, including hearings about the value or source of expensive property, temporary and permanent custody, temporary and permanent child support and alimony, evidentiary matters, and others.
Well qualified attorneys understand that this is all new to you. They will describe, in straight-forward terms, what the court hearing will entail. This includes the family court judge handling your case, the specific issues on calendar for the hearing, what attire is most appropriate, instructions on how to conduct yourself during the hearing, and possible outcomes – to name just a few.
Be Familiar with Your Case Facts
Your attorney will prepare you for the motion hearing well in advance. They will discuss with you whatever is likely to be addressed by the court. If you are asked a question by the judge, it is important that you are comfortable with the facts in your motion. You are not expected to remember every detail such as the value of various bank accounts down to the decimal points, but you should prepare as best you can. Your attorney will review the relevant evidence in your motion, and work with you on a few key points that you may need to get across such as your living situation, your financial situation, etc.
Your Divorce Attorney Will Lead the Way
Remember to relax, remain calm, and take comfort that your attorney will do most, if not all, of the speaking on your behalf. Remember that the information supporting your request(s) has already been submitted to the court. There can be occasions where the judge will ask you a question directly. Do not immediately answer the judge’s question. Instead look to your attorney for guidance. Knowledgeable divorce attorneys know when it’s in your best interest to speak. If your attorney indicates that you should answer, speak in a calm clear voice and keep your answer focused on the question. If you are having difficulty, your attorney may interrupt and speak on your behalf. Don’t be concerned about this as it is completely normal behavior in divorce court hearings.
Submitting the Evidence in Your Motion
This is another area where your attorney will take the lead. They will have supporting evidence prepared ahead of time in the written motion filing. Having supporting documentation for your side of the case is a crucial factor in preparing for your court hearing. If your hearing concerns financial issues, your attorney will have all the relevant documentation such as tax returns, real estate documents, bank statements, retirement account statements, proof of current income, utility bills, mortgage statements, etc.
They may also have additional information and evidence which may have not been available at the time of your motion filing. This is helpful in case the judge asks a question, your spouse’s attorney makes an untrue statement, or the accuracy of one of your assertions is called into question. Your attorney may present additional documents into evidence throughout the hearing to support your positions, and having those at hand during your court hearing will make the process much smoother.
Experienced Las Vegas Divorce Attorneys
Talk to a dedicated divorce law expert regarding the best approach for your divorce proceeding. Our State Bar of Nevada Board Certified divorce attorneys have the dedication and institutional knowledge to guide you through all aspects of your divorce, from temporary spousal support, alimony and property division, to child custody issues. We will stand by your side and provide seasoned legal representation and comforting counsel from day one until your divorce is finalized. Both Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo offer courtesy phone consultations at no charge. Call 702-222-4021 to speak directly with one of them about your important divorce matter issues.
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