Going to family court in Texas can be stressful. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Here are some tips from our experienced family law attorneys to help you prepare yourself for your day in court.
1. Know That You’ll Have to Wait
When we first talk with clients, we often talk with them about how long family law matters may take to resolve and when they can expect to go to court. The truth is that the legal system can feel like it moves slowly, especially when you’re not involved with it on a day-to-day basis.
Know that you may have to wait for your court date. And, once you are outside the courtroom, you may have to wait to be called inside. This wait can feel anguishing. Your lawyers will do everything possible to resolve your case as quickly and effectively as possible, but it may be helpful to know that most non-emergency family law matters do not happen overnight. Knowing that can help you be prepared for the process.
2. Turn Your Phone Off
After waiting to get your time in court, you’ll want to make sure that the time is used as effectively as possible. That means removing any potential distractions. Make sure your phone is turned off and put away. Even a phone ringing on silent inside a purse can create a distracting humming noise.
3. Dress Accordingly
In Texas family court, like other places of business, impressions do matter. Make sure that you dress in a respectful manner that tells the judge just how seriously you are taking the family law issue you face. For men that usually means a shirt with a collar, pants with a crease and shoes with a shine. For women, a modest skirt or dress may also be acceptable.
4. Let Your Attorney Speak for You
If you have an attorney to represent you in family court, let them speak for you. Your attorney will know what information is most important to emphasize in court. Most people spend the majority of their family court hearings listening to the interactions between the judge and the attorneys for both parties.
If you are asked to speak, remember to treat the judge with the utmost respect. Address them as “your honor” and keep your emotions in check. Family court judges spend their days listening to family conflict, so they usually have a low tolerance for raw hostility.
5. Take Notes
It can be a good idea to bring a notebook and pen to take notes. Taking notes gives you something to do while you sit and listen to the proceeding. It can also help you channel your nervousness and focus so that you can concentrate. Most importantly, it will give you a record of exactly what was said. That way, you’ll be able to look back on notes instead of having to rely solely on your memory.
While you’re taking notes, be sure to write down any questions that come up. After the hearing, you can discuss them with your attorney. He or she can give you answers and help you understand your case and the next steps to be taken.
Get the Support You Need. Contact an Attorney.
Going to family court can be one of the most stressful things a person experiences. But having the right support can make it easier. If you need help, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. We are here to support you.