When a party goes to court for a divorce or family law matter, manners can go a long way toward a successful outcome. The reality is judges can quickly come to an impression about somebody when they are in front of the judge.
So, if a party is well-mannered and respectful, this can have a positive effect on the case outcome. On the flip-end, if somebody is not well mannered and disrespectful, this can have an adverse effect.
“What are good manners in the courtroom?” “And what should I not say or do in the courtroom?” These are common questions that a pattern asks when they have a court date upcoming in their case.
First, “your honor,” is an expression that every party coming to a court should include in their vocabulary. When asked a question by a judge, “your honor” is one of the most important phrases a party has to know. Many of the responses of a party will simply call for a “yes, your honor” or a “no, your honor” response.
It is critical as well to only speak when spoken to or given permission to speak. For many parties, they want to speak up a lot. They want to interrupt the judge, the other attorney, or their own attorney. They want to be argumentative and make their case. This is almost always a mistake.
If a party wants to say something, it is almost always best said through their attorney. This is why they paid to have an attorney in the first place. To the extent it is even appropriate for them to speak, asking for permission from the court is definitely advisable in most instances.
When allowed to speak, it is important to seem even-keeled and level-headed in the courtroom. It is important to be respectful and not argumentative in family court. A party also has to read the body language well of a judge. If the judge looks annoyed or irritated about what is being said, a party needs to catch these queues and stop talking.
Body language is also important as well. A lot can be said in a courtroom that can be frustrating for a party going through a divorce or family law matter. But if a party looks angry or frustrated, or if a party sighs, shrugs their shoulders or throws up their hands in response to what is said, this generally does not come off well in court.
For most parties, it is better to sit stone-faced when others are speaking–no matter whether what is being said is beneficial or negative toward them. Even passing notes to an attorney, when over-done, during a trial or hearing can make an adverse impression.
If you are going through a divorce or family law matters a court appearance coming, you can call us at 1-855-805-0595. You can also call our Lee’s Summit, Missouri Family Lawyers.