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Courtroom etiquette: how to behave during divorce proceedings

It may seem like a no-brainer that behaving appropriately during a divorce court hearing can work in your favor, but sometimes it is easier said than done. It has likely happened to some Florida residents going through a divorce or child custody trial - they come in with the best intentions but end up being controlled by their emotions. While the process is understandably emotional, individuals should do whatever they can to not let those emotions get the best of them.  

So how does one put their best foot forward when it comes to the courtroom? First off, know when to talk and when to listen. Do not interrupt or talk out of turn, and whatever you do, do not argue. If you want to share your feelings with your attorney, write down your thoughts for later or pass the lawyer a note. Try not to let the opposing lawyer see your negative reactions - sometimes that's exactly what they want.

When it comes to speaking in the courtroom, do so clearly and confidently. When you’re not talking, show you are interested in what others have to say. And always be courteous to everyone in the courtroom, including the court clerks and officers, not to mention the judge.

Lastly, don’t forget about the basics. Do as you would for a job interview: dress appropriately and conservatively, arrive at least 15 minutes early, and make sure your cell phone is turned off. These may all be common sense, but many attorneys likely have stories of well-respected individuals behaving badly in the courtroom. 

Source: Huffington Post, "How To Behave In Court: 9 Tips to a Successful Divorce," Daniel Clement, Nov. 14, 2013

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