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Proper behavior in divorce court

When a couple in Louisiana is getting a divorce, there are many things to think about, ranging from where to leave to child custody to financial issues. Your divorce attorney will be prepared for the legal proceedings and will prepare you to testify in court, if that will be needed. But what about proper personal behavior during the court appearance for the divorce?

Here are a few rule of thumb tips that may be helpful in preparing for the event. The first recommendation is to arrive early. You may need to park a distance from the courthouse, may wind up stuck in traffic and may be surprised by how long it takes to go through a security line. Don't wait to arrive until the actual time scheduled for your hearing, because then you will be late.

Dress in a professional and neat manner, not like you are going to a beach or barbecue. Leave the "funny" t-shirt with the vaguely risqu? saying at home. When you enter the courtroom itself, turn off your cellphone. The judge will not appreciate hearing your ringtone interrupt what he or she is doing. If there is some vital reason why you need it on in case of a real emergency, have it placed on silent and vibrate status. If your phone somehow rings, it may be confiscated.

Do not make miscellaneous remarks or interrupt others who are speaking, and only answer direct questions. Do not volunteer unrequested information or offer to "explain" matters. If your lawyer thinks you should say more, they will prompt you with a question.

Pay attention and show interest in what is going on. Don't doze off, fidget or read the paper. The court bailiff, clerk and court reporter are just doing their job. Be polite to them and don't give them a hard time. There is almost never any smoking, eating or gum chewing allowed in court. Follow these rules, and you will avoid creating additional problems for yourself.

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

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