Going to court


#1

My day in court is coming up and I am the dependent spouse. There was an affair in the separation and divorce by my ex husband. I filed for spousal support. What is my part in all of this. My attorney says to be prepared to tell the judge why I need money. If the judge already has this info then why am I having to tell him/her. I would just like know how I should act and what questions are they likely to ask me. I am not the wrong person in this case but I feel like I am going to be the one that is. Please tell me how to act.
Thanks!


#2

I am not an attorney

This is what I was told.

When you are asked a question, take a breath or two to make sure you understood the question being asked, and to make sure that you don’t blurt out anything that could make you appear unreasonable.

Remain calm.

Try your best to leave emotion out of it. Calling him a no-good, cheating, lying, s.o.b is going to make you look bad and spiteful, so stick to the facts, not opinions.

Don’t reply in anger…if the opposing party’s attorney asks you questions that they know will get you riled up, take a deep breath. Don’t be afraid to ask them to clarify a question.

And yes, even though the judge already has everything in writing, you will have to spell it all out for the record. I really is not as bad as you are anticipating it to be. And of course, tell the truth…it’s always easiest to remember what you told someone when it’s what actually happened…don’t embellish, don’t change facts…tell it how you see it, how you remember it, how it happened…and you should be fine.

Hope this helps!


#3

Also not an atty but been to court several times for alimony. Once for the initial PSS trial and then back because ex asked to modify alimony. He had claimed his income was less but the judge did not change a thing.

What was said above is exactly right. Be calm and honest. For me I had financial needs that could not be met by my salary alone. I showed my checking account and what bills and debts i was paying. I showed I was working and shirking any duties. Also I told the judge i was taking care of the children at the marital home.

My atty went over with me what questions they might ask but he never told me exactly how to state it as it is best to be stated in your own words. In my case, my budget included things we had for the home and the children prior to him leaving so i did not have to explain why I spent money on a new car or an extravagant trip because i was just trying to pay the needed bills.

The judge was generous but ex refuses to pay so we are back and forth in court for contempt. My lawyer says getting the award is one thing, but getting him to pay is another.

But you will be fine. Go through your check book and credit card statements and list what your expenses are. We showed this to the judge in a nice chart.

Sometimes the opposing atty are tricky and may wish to make you look bad. When my ex was not paying me anything I took some money from my children’s savings (only about a total of a few hundred dollars) and of course intended to pay it back but the other atty was trying to make ME look like a bad person to do that, instead of the ex was was the one not paying. Try to not let the opposing atty get you upset and ask to have a question repeated if you need to or say that you do not understand the question being asked. If your atty is good he/she will be listening and interject if the opposing atty is badgering you.


#4

You simply need to honestly answer the questions that you are asked while on the stand.