How should I prepare for a court appearance, and how should I behave while in court?

            While attending court may be nerve racking, it is very important that you are prepared for your visit.  Whether you are the plaintiff, defendant, or witness, how you present yourself could dramatically affect your credibility.

            First, take care with your physical appearance. It is important that you dress respectfully and neatly. Avoid wearing clothing that looks messy or unprofessional, as how you dress can express a lot about your character. Instead, opt for professional, business-style clothing. Woman should wear clothing that is not revealing, such as a dress, skirt or dress slacks with a blouse. For men, dress pants with a clean, tucked in shirt or a suit are appropriate. Overall, avoid wearing jeans, t-shirts, shorts, mini-skirts or any revealing clothing.

            Second, be respectful of court personnel. Whether you are addressing the Judge, the Commonwealth’s Attorney, the Deputy or the Court Clerk, everyone you come in contact with at the court deserves your respect. Avoid foul language as it can come across as disrespectful and rude. Follow court protocol and directions.

            Third, be honest. Always tell the truth in court. When asked a question, answer clearly and politely. Attempt to give answers as completely as you can. If you do not know the answer to a question or don’t understand a question, say so. This way, the party asking the question can frame it in another way so you can understand. Remember, if you take care with your appearance and show good character, court may be a far less daunting experience.

            Most importantly, hire legal counsel who will help you prepare for your court appearance. Our attorneys here at Smith Strong, PLC are ready to support you throughout the court process. With offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia, we will gladly guide you through any family law issues you may be facing, including divorce, custody and support matters. You are also welcome to request a free copy of our Founder H. Van Smith’s latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Divorce & Custody in Virginia: Quickly Get Back to Fully Living Your Life, emailed to you instantly.

            Call us today at (804) 325-1245 or (757) 941-4298 to schedule a SMARTSTART comprehensive case preparation meeting.

 

Disclaimer: Please note that every case is different, therefore, this article should not be construed as legal advice or replace an attorney-client relationship.