What to Expect in Family Court
Trials are stressful - especially for clients who have never testified or been in a courtroom before. Below is some information to help you prepare. Please note that this information specifically applies to family court in Iredell County.
1. PUNCTUALITY COUNTSBe on time! Your attorney will tell you what time to be in court. You may be the first case scheduled for the day or you may be a backup to an earlier case, but cases often get continued at the last minute or called out of order for other reasons. It's important to be in the courtroom ready to proceed when called. If you are running late for any reason please notify our office so we may update the judge.
2. What Not to WearPlease remember that your appearance is a reflection of you and judges notice what the parties are wearing. Dress modestly; wear clothing that is clean and without rips and holes. Men should wear slacks, a collared shirt, and a tie. Women should wear slacks and a blouse or a dress/skirt (being mindful of length), with appropriate footwear.
The following is NOT appropriate dress: flip-flops, tank or halter tops, jeans with holes in them, or shirts with inappropriate or offensive logos. All hats and sunglasses must be removed before entering the courtroom.
3. TV vs. RealityDisregard what you have seen on TV. Our courtrooms do not look like the ones you see in "A Few Good Men" or "Law & Order." Our courtrooms are small and unintimidating. In addition to the people associated with your case, there will be the judge, a clerk, a bailiff and possibly parties and attorneys from other cases scheduled the same day.
4. TestifyingYour attorney will ask you questions and the opposing counsel (or opposing party if there is no opposing counsel) will have the opportunity to ask you questions as well. Keep your cool and tell the truth. Don't let the other side's questions fluster you or serve as a distraction from your goals. If you don't understand a question, ask for clarification.
5. MiscCell phones aren't allowed in the courthouse so leave yours in the car.
Remain quiet in the courtroom. If you need to talk to your attorney, waive him or her over and you can step into the hall to chat when appropriate.
Ask us questions! We want you to be as prepared as possible heading into court.