What Not to Say in Divorce Court

What Not to Say in Divorce Court

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What Not To Say In Divorce Court

Divorce is a difficult process, both emotionally and legally. One of the most anxiety-invoking aspects of divorce for many spouses is the final hearing process. At the hearing, each party must testify in court in front of their spouse, the Denver divorce attorneys, and the judge. In most cases, each spouse’s attorney readies their client for the hearing date by going over their testimony and preparing them for the questions they’re likely to get from their spouse’s attorney and the judge. But what about divorcing spouses shouldn’t say in divorce court? Sometimes, knowing what you shouldn’t say or do at your divorce hearing can make a big difference to the outcome of your case.

Don’t Lie or Exaggerate During Your Testimony

There are no “little white lies” in court. Telling any lie or exaggeration in court is perjury. Once you tell a lie or use overt exaggeration of the facts, it not only makes everything else you say suspect, but it’s also a crime. Telling lies to a judge may result in serious charges of contempt of court with fines and possible jail time.

Don’t Call Your Spouse Names or Act Angry or Aggressive

If you’re in divorce court, you likely have hard feelings toward your spouse. Relationship endings are often ugly and they only worsen when divorcing spouses dispute one or more matters of the divorce terms, such as child custody, spousal support, and the distribution of their marital assets. No matter how much anger you’re harboring toward your ex, it’s essential to stay calm, reserved, and dignified in the courtroom. You should never shout out accusations, call your spouse names, or use foul language. Always avoid interjecting irrelevant insults against your spouse during your testimony. This is distracting and often irritating to judges. Instead, let the evidence speak for itself while you give every appearance of calm and confidence in your case.

Don’t Say Anything Disrespectful to the Judge

Arguing with a judge isn’t tolerated in the courtroom and could result in contempt charges. Don’t interrupt a judge or act hostile while answering their questions or the questions of your spouse’s attorney. The last thing you want when a judge is making critical decisions about your future is to antagonize them or make it clear that your behavior was the problem during the marriage.

Courtroom etiquette is nothing to take lightly. You should answer the judge’s questions briefly and factually while maintaining a polite tone, a dignified appearance, and a calm and composed posture.

Don’t Use Words That Suggest Absolutes

Choose your words carefully in court. It’s important to avoid using absolutes or words like “always,” or “never.” For instance, if you say something like, “My spouse never attends the children’s school events,” when you mean they rarely attend, it only takes your spouse’s lawyer to show evidence of one time that your spouse did attend a school event to seriously undermine your credibility.

Avoid Redundancy and Interjected Opinions in Your Testimony

If you’ve already said something once during your testimony, avoid repeating the same information. If your testimony is truthful and factual, it’s unnecessary to keep repeating it or interjecting the same fact later when the testimony has moved on. Avoid adding opinions or descriptors to the facts of your case.

Keep your answers brief, to the point, and factual. Never offer additional information since this could be used against you later.

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Prepare, but Don’t Rehearse

Nothing in court is more awkward than giving answers that are clearly rehearsed. It’s important to prepare yourself for the questions and go over your answers with your Denver family lawyer but never write them down and rehearse them or use pre-rehearsed phrases. Your testimony should appear natural and organic in the moment, not like something you memorized. Memorized answers make a witness appear less sincere.

Disputes during a divorce are often heated and fraught with emotions, but it’s important to keep a cool head and prepare for your testimony by knowing what you should and shouldn’t say. You make the best possible impression on the judge by showing your best attributes rather than your worst in the courtroom.