Going through a divorce can weaken you financially and exhaust you emotionally. Although many divorces are settled before making it to court, an already stressful situation can become overwhelming if your divorce case goes to trial. Being ready in body and mind and being aware of what is happening will make the divorce process less burdensome. There are a number of factors to contemplate if you will be testifying in a divorce court proceeding:
• Always be courteous and polite no matter in court to everyone, whether on the stand or not. A bad attitude can be seen by the judge (or relayed to the judge by the judge's staff) and this can work against you.
• Avoid being combative and overly emotional. Keep your temper under control. Getting some quality sleep before your trial will help to keep your emotions in check.
• Even if your answer is damaging, answer all questions honestly. Do not embellish or exaggerate, just be truthful.
• Avoid expressions like "I wouldn't lie about that," or "I am telling the truth." Simply give definitive answers that are positive and specific.
• Do not use words that are absolute like never, all or no unless they are 100% accurate.
• Steer clear of questions that are compound in nature. Sometimes a lawyer may ask you two questions in one. You should break down the questions into two parts and answer each part individually and accurately.
• Get straight to the point. Do not volunteer or suggest additional information no one asked you. You should be straightforward when answering questions and stop talking.
• Make sure that you comprehend the question. Ask the lawyer to reiterate the question, and then say it in your head.
Divorce trials can be lengthy and are always physically and emotionally draining. There is no privacy in a trial. The cross examination process can be ruthless, difficult, invasive and exasperating. There is no assurance that your outcome will be in your favor. But follow the above guidelines and you will give yourself the best chance for a positive outcome in your case. Of course, follow the specific advice of your own attorney as you prepare for trial.