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5 Courtroom Etiquette Tips for Illinois Divorce Proceedings

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyEvery time you appear in court, you are being analyzed. The judge will observe you to determine whether or not you should be taken seriously and if your arguments are valid. If you appear to be disrespectful and ignorant of courtroom rules and conduct, you might not be taken as seriously as you want to be. This can make a big difference in divorce cases, because those who are not taken seriously by the judge are less likely to receive a judgment that is in their favor. Understanding what is expected of you when you go to court to litigate your divorce is crucial to a successful outcome. Here are some tips for following proper etiquette when in divorce court:

1. Dress Appropriately

You want the judge to focus on your legal case, not your appearance, so it is important that you dress appropriately and respectfully when you go to court. The basic rule of thumb is to dress as if you were going to work in an office. Business casual attire means skirts or dress pants, blouses, button-down shirts, slacks, khakis, and nice shoes. You should not wear T-shirts, jeans, sneakers, dirty clothing, or clothing with holes in it. 

2. Arrive on Time

When you go to court to have your case heard by the judge, chances are your case is not the only one being heard. There will probably be a few other cases scheduled for the same day. Even though your case may not be called at your scheduled time, it is extremely important for you to arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow yourself enough time to prepare before your case is called. Arriving late and creating delays for your case and others will not be tolerated by judges.

3. Turn Off Your Cell Phone

Nothing will make a judge more upset than a phone ringing during the court hearing. It is extremely unprofessional to have your phone go off while you are in court, so you should set it on vibrate if you need to have it on. If possible, turn your phone off completely or just leave it in your car.

4. Behave Professionally

You should try not to react to things that your spouse says in court--even if you disagree with what you are hearing, you should not make faces or gestures during their arguments. You will have a time to state your case, and you should use that time to demonstrate why you disagree with what your spouse said.

5. Show Respect

Always remember to show respect while you are in the courtroom, especially to the judge. When you address the judge, you should use the term “your honor” rather than the judge’s name. Speaking out of turn is also frowned upon, so only speak when you are instructed to do so. Refrain from arguing with your spouse, their attorney, and especially the judge.

Have a Wheaton Divorce Attorney By Your Side

If you expect that your divorce is headed to court, it is always a good idea to obtain the help and representation of an experienced DuPage County divorce lawyer. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. have extensive knowledge and a proven track record of litigating divorce cases and obtaining favorable outcomes. Call our office at 630-653-9400 to set up a free consultation.




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