How to Prepare Yourself for Your Divorce Trial

September 22, 2016

divorce lawyers in Columbus Ohio

Divorce proceedings do not have to end up in court. In fact, the Columbus, Ohio, divorce lawyers with Edward F. Whipps & Associations begin each case with the goal of having the spouses involved reach amicable settlements over the division of property, child custody, child support, parenting time, and spousal support. Facilitated negotiations, mediation sessions, and arbitration hearings, often in combination, offer welcome alternatives to a trial. 

When spouses cannot find mutually acceptable answers in other ways, we do all we can to prepare our client well for the divorce trial. Quality divorce trial preparation increases the man or woman’s chances for achieving the outcome they desire. Much of the work will have been done long before the day of the trial, but a few final steps always need to be taken in the days leading up to the appearance before the judge. In broad outlines, here is what we tell our clients. 

Meet With Your Divorce Lawyer to Review Evidence 

Going through a contested divorce can take many months, and sometimes more than a year. The period between the filing of the divorce petition and the trial will be filled with presentations and analyses of, among other forms of evidence, financial records, statements by family members, medical records, and reports by court-appointed and independent experts on employment and child care. Sifting through all this evidence ahead of a trial is a must. Sitting down with your divorce lawyer to review the material will refresh memories, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each spouse’s case, and indicate which questions the opposing attorney is likely to ask. 

Practice Questions and Answers 

Plaintiffs and defendants must tell the truth while testifying during a divorce trial. Anticipating what information, he or she will be asked to share, helps a divorcing spouse remain truthful on the stand, especially when practice Q&A sessions are conducted as part of the review of the evidence. 

Having one’s divorce lawyer ask expected questions during divorce trial preparation also helps a plaintiff or defendant stay calm and focused in front of the judge. Being caught off guard by an unexpected question from the opposing attorney can cause a person giving testimony to panic and speak in a confusing or untruthful manner. 

Rest 

Getting a good night’s sleep is probably the most-overlooked bit of good divorce trial preparation. It may also be the toughest to accomplish. Appearing before a judge, facing a motivated attorney, and revealing personal, sometimes painful, truths about one’s unsalvageable marriage is stressful. A well-rested person will bear up better in court. 

Understand Your Patience Will Be Tested and Your Emotions Strained 

Except when responding directly to questions asked by the opposing attorney or the judge, a plaintiff and defendant can only communicate through his or her divorce lawyer when in court. Intentionally or unintentionally, hurtful and factually incorrect statements will be made during divorce trail. The best response is to bring these offending and inaccurate statements to the attention of one’s lawyer. This allows the lawyer to raise objections in an effort to have testimony or evidence stricken, to make sure the court transcript is corrected, or to ask the judge to warn the other side about the necessity of following rules for decorum and procedure. Speaking or acting out emotionally in response to provocative statements while court is in session will hurt a divorcing spouse’s case. 

As divorce lawyers in Columbus, Ohio, the legal team at Edward F. Whipps & Associates works hard to ensure each of our clients whose case goes to court is fully prepared for the trial. If you expect that only a judge will be able decide your divorce case, contact us online or schedule an appointment by calling (614) 461-6006.

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