When you are faced with family law issues that cannot be resolved with negotiation or mediation alone, your family law matter may need to go before the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Going to Court isn’t likely to be your idea of fun unless of course you are a lawyer.
The way you conduct yourself in Court can be very important, the impression that the Judge has of you can count enormously so I have put together 7 simple tips on appearing in Court.
1. First impressions count: You needn’t turn up in a ball dress or a tux! But you should be clean, tidy and appropriately dressed. As a general rule if you wouldn’t wear it to a funeral or a job interview, don’t wear it to Court. Common sense should apply, cover up tattoos, take out piercings and wear appropriate clothing.
2. Turn off your phone please: You don’t want the Judge to be yelling at you across the Courtroom, believe me it is very embarrassing!
3. Be on time: Actually not only on time but aim to get to Court early so that you don’t get caught out. It seems silly even pointing it out but you would be surprised!
4. Mind your language: It sometimes can be hard to keep your emotions in check especially in a family law situation that involves your children and finances. Trust me, yelling, cursing and using explicit language will not help your case.
5. Never put down your child’s other parent: You will do yourself no favors if you are rude or aggressive towards your child’s other parent.
6. Focus on your child, not yourself: In family law, your needs and desires are secondary to the needs of your children. The sole basis of the Judges decision is what is in your child’s best interests, not what is in your best interests.
7. Remember the Judge sees it all: Keep in mind that you are being watched the entire time and the Judge has got a very good view of you from where he or she sits. Keep your attitude in check. Remain courteous and polite and don’t show any bad attitude such as grunting, rolling eyes or huffing and puffing!
You cannot control everything when you are involved in Family law proceedings but you can control your attitude and the way that you appear.