If you are involved in an Arizona divorce, you need to be prepared to interact with court officers and possibly even testify. While this can be a nerve-wracking experience, knowing what to expect ahead of time can make it easier.
Remember that not all cases will involve testifying in court as many do not go to trial. This is something you should speak to your Arizona divorce attorney about as you may never need to go through this process. If it looks like it will happen, however, you want to be calm and collected on the stand.
The primary things to know about testifying in court during a divorce is that you should have some sense of what questions you might be asked, how you should present yourself in court in general, and how you should respond to the questions you’re asked.
Why Would I Need to Testify?
Perhaps when you filed your divorce you thought that you and your spouse would be able to come to agreement on most issues. Perhaps you thought that you’d be able to get through the divorce process relatively quickly. It can be a shock to discover that your spouse has decided to contest things or make things difficult.
Coming to the realization that Trial is likely and having to testify about the facts of the case and reliving the parts of your marriage you struggled with, but there are some tips you can keep in mind to make this process less stressful.
Tips for Testifying in Court
You’re going to be nervous on the day of the big event, but following the tips below can help you keep a clear head and answer honestly:
- Listen carefully to the question. If you’re confused, ask for it to be repeated or rephrased to eliminate confusion. Walk yourself through the question again in your mind so that you know exactly what is asked.
- Provide the shortest and most accurate answer possible. You are only obligated to answer the exact question being asked, so do not provide additional details unless necessary.
- Avoid volunteering information if you are not directly asked about it.
- Stay calm, even if the subject matter of a question makes you angry.
- Stay truthful even when you know the subject of your answer might hurt you.
- Break apart compound questions. If an attorney asks you a question with multiple parts, be aware of answering “yes” when “yes” only gets to one of those questions.
- Be aware of questions founded on untrue facts.
- Do not add additional characterizations to your testimony such as “Of course that’s the truth” or “Honestly”. You have already been sworn in to tell the truth.
- Be respectful.
- Be honest if you cannot remember something. Do not try to answer a question when it’s not completely clear in your mind.
Speak with your own Arizona divorce attorney before testifying in court so you have a sense of what might be asked.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How To Prepare to Testify in Court During Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.