Paige Navarro here! We have several hearings this week, and the number one question that’s been popping up is, “What should I expect in family law court?” That’s a very important question! Since the lawyers in our office do this almost every single day, sometimes we forget just how nerve-wracking it can be leading up to your hearing date.
What To Expect at Custody, Divorce, or Child Support Hearings
First, when you get to the courthouse, there will be a bit of a waiting period. In almost every single courthouse that we go to, the very first thing that the judge is going to do is take the bench and call the calendar. The calendar could have two cases, or it could have twenty. Recently, on one of our court days, there were 27 cases on the calendar. We sat there for a while as the judge called the calendar and waited for announcements from other attorneys.
Whenever your name is called by the judge, the most important thing is that you are paying attention. You will stand up to make sure that the judge knows that you are there. Your attorney will stand up as well. He or she will announce to the court whether there is an agreement or whether we can expect for a trial to have to occur on that day. This is the attorney’s time to let the judge know what to expect.
After the call of the calendar, the judge may ask the attorneys to step out of the courtroom and into the hallway. The clients usually remain in the courtroom during this time. In the hallway, we may discuss a potential settlement, try to negotiate, or exchange documents or exhibits that we had not exchanged prior to that day.
Next Steps At Your Family Law Court Date
After we get the preliminary issues in the hallway handled, we will go back into the courtroom. At this point, the judge should have some sort of order with the calendar and have an idea when he or she will call your case. Until then, it could be another waiting game.
Usually, judges will take a lunch break in the middle of the day. From there, we will know if we are going to be an afternoon case and if everything has the potential to be heard that day. There is a chance we will need to reset your case for another day when the judge has more time to hear your case.
If your case does not get called or does not finish on that day, do not freak out! We have experienced continuances many times, and almost always it is the Lord’s blessing. We will prepare, and we will come back at the next possible date that the judge has for you, and your case will be heard then.
Advice for Your Family Law Hearing
No matter what happens on family law court days, we stay close by our clients’ sides. We check in frequently to help make sure you remain calm. We will remind you of tips and tricks, including:
- Be on time
- Dress appropriately
- Speak loudly and clearly
- Be very polite to the other attorney and the judge
- Don’t get frustrated if you don’t know the answer to the question
- Never guess the answer to a question – always make sure that you understand the questions being asked of you.
- Follow your attorney’s advice
- And finally, most importantly: tell the truth!
Hall & Navarro’s Family Law Attorneys Are Ready for the Courtroom
The bottom line is, take direction from your attorney. If you are a client of Hall & Navarro, you can trust that all the attorneys in our office are very experienced. We have spent many, many days in court, and know how to handle any situation that pops up.
We would be honored to represent you and your case. If you need assistance with a family law matter, criminal matter, or bankruptcy, please contact us.