The scariest part of filing for divorce might be not knowing what to expect when you have to appear in court. If you are lucky enough that you and your spouse worked together and have filed an amicable divorce, your court appearance will be no big deal. This is what you should both be working towards – for the good of your children and yourselves.
Your court appearance with an amicable divorce will be fairly quick. Basically, the judge will ask each of you if you understand the divorce agreement and if you agree with everything in it. When you both agree, the judge or magistrate will make his/her decision, usually to sign the agreement.
If your divorce is not amicable, be prepared when you appear in court. Bring with your all of the papers you collected before you filed for divorce. Put them in a binder and have them organized so you can easily find the correct paper and show the judge. Have a list of what you need and want, but be prepared to reduce that list. You should know exactly what you want and what you can afford to let go. Doing this in court shows the judge that you are willing to cooperate and can earn you valuable points with the judge.
Always be respectful in court. Show respect to the judge, the lawyers and even your spouse. Being respectful to your soon to be ex will not be easy, but again, it shows you are willing to work together to find a solution everyone can be happy with. Try to control your emotions while in court. It may be difficult not to cry, but think of this as a business deal and not your life. Your divorce is all about making a deal you can be happy with and moving on with your life.
Never lose your temper in court – no matter what your ex or your ex’s lawyer may say. Count to ten, squeeze your hands together or tap your foot. Remind yourself that soon, you will not have to deal with this person anymore and that you can survive whatever they say right now.
Be ready to negotiate when you appear in court if you have not worked out your agreement in advance. You will not get everything you want and neither will your spouse. Your lawyer will be right beside you to offer advice if needed, but as long as you show respect and show a willingness to negotiate, your court date will go smoothly and your divorce will be final.