Going in front of a Texas judge for any family law matter can be a frightening and intimidating experience, especially if you aren’t familiar with the legal process.
However, doing a little homework and working with an experienced family law attorney can go a long way to presenting a persuasive and thorough case to achieve the best possible outcome.
Types of family court matters
A variety of circumstances exist where one or both parents, children, grandparents or others may be called before a family court judge. These include:
- Custody, i.e., conservatorship
- Visitation – possession and access
- Child support
- Modification of an order affecting the parent-child relationship
Follow these steps for a court hearing
Family law matters are often some of the most stressful and emotional times in a person’s life. However, it’s vital to your case to be on your best behavior. Remember to:
- Always tell the truth – no embellishments
- Speak clearly and confidently
- Get to the point quickly as there may be a time limit for your answer
- Look at the judge and begin or end your response with “your honor,” “sir” or “ma’am”
- Do not look at your attorney for answers
- Only answer the question asked – your attorney will add clarity if necessary
- Bring a trusted friend for support
- Check your emotions at the door
Share everything with your attorney before court
Finally, discuss ALL details with your attorney before going in front of a judge even if you think they may not matter. The last thing you or your case needs is for your lawyer to hear damaging information for the first time in court. As long as they have the complete picture, your attorney can deal with most negative issues before the hearing takes place.