TIPS ON COURTROOM BEHAVIOR
- You MUST be on time for your court hearing.
- A neat appearance in court is important.
- It is not a good idea to bring your children to the hearing
unless they are going to testify.
- Review your petition before the hearing. Stick to the facts.
Tell the truth.
- Stand when the judge enters. Sit down only after the judge or
clerk instructs you.
- The judge will usually announce your case.
- The judge will ask you questions. If you don't understand a
question, say so. Don't answer until you fully understand the
- If you don't know the answer, say so. Don't be afraid to
admit you don't know.
- Take your time when answering questions. Explain your answers
- Be direct with the judge. The judge will not appreciate
- Be courteous. Do not interrupt the judge or anyone else
during the hearing.
- Be sincere. Don't be sarcastic or appear dissatisfied with
the judge or the other side.
- Be serious in the courtroom. Testifying is a very serious
- If you are stating dates, times, places, etc., be exact. If
you cannot be exact, make it understood that you are only
- Speak clearly and distinctly.
- Keep your hands away from your mouth and do not chew gum.
- Always answer verbally so your answer can be properly
recorded. Do not nod your head to indicate yes.
- If the judge asks you a question, try not to look to your
advocate or attorney for help.
- Avoid laughing or talking about the case in the hallway or
restrooms of the courthouse.
- Be especially respectful of the judge. Always address the
judge as "Your honor". Do not lose your temper.
- Bring any evidence of abuse, such as doctor's records,
pictures, police reports, etc. to the hearing.