We know that having to give testimony in a divorce case can be a complicated and emotionally challenging experience. In this post, we share the most vital tips to help you get through it with grace and poise.
Tips for Giving Your Divorce Testimony
Be ready to be emotional during the testimony
Narrating your experience in your marriage can be pretty tricky, and it is not out of the ordinary to get very emotional. Just be ready for the possibility of it and try your best to hold it together.
Get ready for the difficult questions
The court will most likely ask you to discuss your behaviors and that of your ex-spouse during proceedings. This may include incidences of infidelity, physical violence, and such. It helps to review these questions before your testimony, so you have a logical and well-thought response to the court. It lessens the chances of you getting caught off-guard during testimony.
You must speak as clearly and politely as possible. Do not rush your words or use foul language. You do not want to risk the chance of not getting heard by everyone in the courtroom.
Prepare to defend your requests and desires
When things like marital property and child support payments are in play, your ex-spouse will most likely fight your requests. You need to be able to prove to the court that your request is reasonable and founded on correct and convincing grounds.
Be polite but authoritative
You want to be the authority on your side of the story, so be sure to focus on what you want and make it clear that you are willing to work towards a resolution. This will help convey that you’re not just an angry person who is vengeful and trying to get revenge on your ex-spouse.
Focus on the Now
Focusing on the present and creating solutions for the future is how you ace your divorce testimony. Be intentional about not dwelling on the past. It helps you present a confident, logical, and put-together front.
You should consult with your attorney and get their advice about asking questions on things that are unclear. For example, if a statement, request, or proposition is made, and you are confused or have an objection, immediately talk to your attorney about clarifying.
Don’t talk excessively
Please speak only when spoken to; talking too much, interjecting, or wanting to speak would put you under contempt of the court. If you have concerns, talk to your attorney.
Be honest and direct
Your testimony is not time to be shady, throw jabs or lie. You will be under oath to speak the truth, and it is in your best interests to do so. Also, be direct with your responses. Answer clearly and reasonably. This does not mean you should be evasive or avoid answering questions directly—be sure to answer them in a way that lets the judge know precisely what happened in the marriage and why it ended.
If you need expert counsel on your divorce, reach out to the family law attorneys at Hecht-Schondorf. We will work to argue for your best interests and protect you. Reach out to us here.