Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who Should I Bring to Court?

Most non-Collaborative Law divorces in Tarrant County start out with a temporary hearing right away after the other spouse has been served with papers. Depending on what the issues are for court, you may feel the need to bring witnesses, especially if your close friends and family suggest it to you.

While witnesses are sometimes necessary, too much of a good thing can be bad. Here's a way to approach the decision on who should attend:

First, ASK YOUR ATTORNEY! It's not good to just surprise your attorney by bringing a whole crowd of witnesses and supporters. It's also not good to do nothing and not tell your attorney who you can bring. There may be some witnesses your attorney would appreciate knowing about, so discuss the facts and possible witnesses with your attorney, and then follow your attorney's advice on who to bring.

Second, bring people with personal knowledge of relevant facts who have been approved by your attorney. The witnesses, as much as possible, should be unblemished citizens of high character. If some of your witnesses have little "issues", you should inform your attorney well in advance. You might also vet your witnesses by looking them up on FaceBook, My Space and Google. Check their postings and pictures for embarrassing details. Print off what you find.

Third, don't bring the kids unless the judge has specifically requested it.

Fourth, don't bring a huge group of witnesses and supporters.
The judge does not count the supporters for each side and make the larger group the winner. A big group is disruptive and can be loud. You don't need to have a lot of people showing up and giving you advice all day at court. You just need to work with your lawyer.

Fifth, bring all necessary documents that you have. Telling the judge that you can go home or go to your pick up to get the records won't help. The only thing that counts is what is presented in court. As the Scouts say, Be Prepared! Bring whatever you may need and share it with your attorney.

Your day in court will be a lot easier if you discuss your questions, especially ones about witnesses, in advance with your attorney. Good luck!

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