Court is a daunting task for anyone and depending on the situation can be a rather frightening experience particularly if you have nobody to represent you. It is therefore important to understand the procedures so you are aware if what to expect.
It is advisable to arrive at the court at least 30 to 40 minutes before the time of your hearing so that you have time to properly prepare. If you have assigned yourself a solicitor to represent you, you may wish to use this time to talk to everything through.
When it comes to what you should wear, smart or smart/casual dress is generally suggested. Whilst many people argue it shouldn’t matter what you wear, it is important to remember that it may unintentionally affect your case. If you are not well groomed and presentable, judges may make assumptions about your personal life.
One of the most commonly asked questions is what exactly you need to take with you and to start, you’ll need to take your court order. This is the document you will have received that tells you what case number you are and this number will be key in finding which court room you are in that day. Unless you have a legal representative who has all the necessary documents, you will need to make sure you take everything with you that the court has sent you prior to that date. If you need any photocopies of documents be sure to print them beforehand and have too many rather than too few. If you wish to distribute them within the courtroom you must have enough for everyone involved, including yourself. If the court is made to photocopy any extra for you there will most likely be a standard fee that can become quite costly.
You are allowed to take relatives and friend with you to court if you need extra support but if they are not directly involved in the case, they will not be allowed inside the courtroom. It is advised that you only bring one or two people with you if you need to because although you have lots of family and friends supporting you, it can be interpreted as a scare tactic depending on your case and not taken well by the judge. It is also not recommended that you bring children with you, especially in cases of family law it can become upsetting for other parties and most importantly, the child.
In situations of family law court cases, if you are unsure about anything surrounding your case it is advisable to contact a law firm who can direct you to their specialist solicitors who deal in this specific area. When it comes to family cases it can often be a very emotionally and mentally draining time but family law specialists are trained in helping you through it and dealing with as much as possible so that you don’t have to.