When going to an Arizona Family Court for a divorce or child custody proceeding, it’s important that you act in a respectful manner. Going to court is a very serious affair and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Visitors are required to follow a certain etiquette that not many are aware of. When in an Arizona family court for any reason, there are several stated, and undated, rules and regulations regarding conduct and demeanor for audience members, litigants, jurors, attorneys, and other attendees.
While legal professionals learn about courtroom proper courtroom etiquette while in law school, the general public has no clue as to what sort of Arizona family court manner is required and expected. No matter who you are, many of the same rules apply. You must show respect for the court’s rules and in doing so, you’re not only helping the court, but also yourself and your case if you’re there on a legal matter. If you need to appear in Arizona family court for any reason, here are some etiquette rules you’ll need to follow as specified by a Chandler family law attorney:
Preparing for Court
You should start following the court’s decorum regulations even before you show up. When you are preparing for court, it is important to make a good impression on the judge and anyone else involved in decision making for your case. You should always try to improve your chances for success in court despite the fact that your lawyer, court staff and judges are doing all the work. By preparing for court, you’re actually helping them do their jobs smoothly and efficiently.
Things to remember when preparing for court as advised by a Chandler family law attorney include:
- Arriving early at the courthouse. Being late can cause a bad impression on the judge and the rest of the courtroom staff, which can negatively impact your case.
- Always plan for delays in transportation, parking and the like. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before you were told to be at the courthouse by your lawyer.
- Know that parking can be a headache and can take a huge chunk of time so arriving at least an hour before a set time is highly recommended.
- Know the time and location of where you need to be. Courts can be confusing and complex places, so research where you need to meet beforehand so that you know where you’re going the day assigned by your Arizona family law attorney.
- Always review the documents your Chandler family law attorney has given you and know what you need to bring with you to court. The last thing you want to do is forget critical paperwork at home, which can derail the success of your case.
- Dress appropriately for court, which includes a suit and ties for men and nothing too risqué for women. You want to look as professional and decent as possible, so taking careful consideration in what you’re wearing is necessary.
- If for whatever reason, you can’t make it to court on the specified date and time, you’ll want to contact your Arizona family law attorney immediately to reschedule or make other necessary plans.
How to Act When You Appear in Court
Once you’re present at the courthouse, your conduct and appearance will matter. You don’t want to be rude, inconsiderate or emotional in front of the judge or the staff. Judges expect everyone in their courtroom to pay attention and be respectful. Once in the courtroom, it’s wise to follow your lawyer’s lead, be respectful and stay quiet. A court is a serious place of business, so acting in violation of its decorum will result in serious consequences.
In court, a judge represents the law and all important decisions about your case. You must treat them with the utmost respect and address them as “your honor.” Here are a few tips on how you should act when you appear in court:
- Never eat or drink in a courtroom.
- Children are not allowed in traditional courtrooms unless stated otherwise. There are certain family courtrooms that are less intimidating for children and specialize in cases related to children.
- Turn off all mobile devices given the judge won’t tolerate any interruptions.
- Stand when a judge enters the room. If you aren’t sure what to do, follow your lawyer’s lead.
- Be attentive in court and listen to everyone talking.
- Never interrupt anyone speaking, especially the judge. Only one person can speak at a time.
- To not argue with anyone, even if you strongly disagree with what they’re saying. Ask for your lawyer’s help if anything.
- If the judge asks you any questions, always answer truthfully. You do not want to compromise your case by lying in court.
- Always turn to your lawyer if you need help or have any questions. They are there to represent you.
- Don’t be rude to the judge or courtroom staff. Copping attitude with anyone can make you and your case look bad.
- No matter what happens, always remain in utter control of your emotions and let your lawyer handle everything.
Once you’ve appeared in court, your lawyer will follow up and keep you informed of anything else, including necessary paperwork, follow up court dates and the like. Never try to attempt to contact the judge since your lawyer is your representative and will deal with any further court matters if necessary. Always speak with your lawyer if anything.
Making sure you know how to act in a courtroom can help make your case a success no matter what the legal matter is. Once you’ve visited a courtroom for the first time, you’ll come to understand why it’s important you act in a professional and respectful manner.