When it comes to courtroom experiences in a Texas divorce, I can think of no single event that is more complicated or stressful than a trial. For months and possibly longer than a year you have been submitting yourself to the process of a divorce case. This means you would have attended mediation, negotiated on your case informally with your spouse, shared custody of your children, and put the rest of your life on hold while you attended to this divorce. When mediation was unsuccessful at settling your case the only possible place to turn to complete your divorce was the inside of a courtroom. This probably was not the outcome you wanted out of your divorce, but it was the one that became your reality. 

Like anything else in life, rather than ignore this reality you chose to deal with the consequences head-on. Learning about the different aspects of a trial would certainly make sense as far as the next steps in this process. No one is saying that you must go out and earn a law degree in terms of your preparation for this case but having a basic level of knowledge would be very helpful so you can know what to expect and prepare yourself for the challenges and opportunities that are a part of a divorce trial. If you have hired an attorney to represent you in this divorce, then he or she will be able to help you with much of the preparation involved in a trial. 

It is not exactly the case that your attorney does all the work for you in a divorce. However, when it comes to divorce your Attorney will certainly play a vital role. Your job during this process is to be able to cooperate with your attorney when he or she needs information and to be accountable to him or her as far as telling the truth. Attorneys spend a great deal of time thinking about courtroom strategy and questions for direct and cross-examination. Your lawyer will want to make sure that the questions he or she asks will be helpful to your case. He or she also wants to know the answers to any questions that he or she asks beforehand. Therefore, if you provide information to your attorney, it is not accurate, he or she may make a mistake in questioning you or your spouse or any other witness. This could prove to be a major problem for your case and could greatly impact the result of the trial. All of the work you put forth into your case could be for nothing if you are not honest with your attorney during the preparation for a trial.

What to wear to court?

This is always an interesting subject to discuss with clients given the fact that attorneys are not always equipped to be able to give you fashion advice. The way that you are returning with dress in their private life may be quite different in the way you address and vice first period however, I think listening to the advice of your attorney when it comes to what to wear or what not to wear in court is important. The major reason is that or attorney has been to court before and you may not have. Therefore, taking your attorney’s advice when it comes to courtroom dress can be extremely important. That’s not to say that it’s among the most important topics of a trial, not by any means. However, getting it right in terms of what clothes you wear to court is something relatively easy for you to handle. You will want to rack up enough easy wins in your trial that the more difficult wins can be achieved.

The clothes you should wear to quart are probably very similar to the clothes you would wear to work, church, or Thanksgiving dinner. For men, a dress shirt tucked into slacks and dress shoes is completely appropriate. You are found to wear a suit if you have one and feel comfortable in a suit. However, you should not feel the need to dress beyond your financial resources or your comfort level. There is no prize awarded at the end of a divorce case for the spouses who are best dressed. Gentlemen: where something that looks presentable but there is no need to spend a lot of money on your outfit.

For women, my advice would be to wear clothing that is more conservative than fashionable. This means that tight-fitting clothing, short dresses, or revealing outfits should not be worn in court. Additionally, you should not wear any perfumes or jewelry that are distracting. Anything that would take the judge’s attention away from your case and put it on what you were wearing would not be a wise decision. You want the focus of your case to be on the subject matter at hand rather than any kind of fashion statement that you are making or not making.

If you have specific questions about how to conduct yourself in court, then your best bet would be to talk with your attorney specifically. Your lawyer may have particular pieces of advice to offer in terms of behavior for the courtroom or specific conduct that could be detrimental or beneficial to your case. Otherwise, I think this basic advice will suit you and your family quite well. Wearing your Clothes that are unwrinkled, clean, and presentable is a much better plan than going out and spending a lot of money that you don’t necessarily have unclothing that you will only be wearing a few times.

These are the basic expectations as far as dressed in the courtroom. I understand that the courtroom is not the place that you feel most comfortable. It is likely also a place that you would rather not be. With that said, sometimes going to court to resolve a divorce is necessary. Remember that hiring an experienced family law attorney to help you in your divorce is probably the best advantage that you can provide yourself with for the entire case. Not every attorney is well suited to serve you in vice versa. With that said, you need to interview as many attorneys as you can to learn what qualities you want in a lawyer. The more diligent you are about research the better equipped you will be when it comes to planning your case.

What divorce is and what the opening statement of a divorce trial has to do with the marriage

Marriage occurs when two people agree to combine their lives and become one. When you and your spouse agreed to become married this was your acknowledgment that each of you was better off with one another than by yourselves. As such, you set aside your past and stepped into a life of shared values in time. Now as complicated as marriage can be a divorce trial can be just as complicated. The reason is that to untangle a complicated marriage you likely will have to have a complicated divorce trial. It can be extremely difficult to have your entire life analyzed by a judge and picked apart by two lawyers. However, this is what you signed up for the one you filed for divorce. The possibility that a trial may be necessary to end your case.

Many times, a divorce case can come to an end with mediation. In mediation, you and your spouse agreed to utilize a third-party mediator to help you all conclude in your case. This is one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. The assumption that your case could settle outside of court may be Torn to shreds very early in your case when you realize that A trial is going to be your only option when it comes to resolving the case. While this may be frustrating it is not something that you always have control over.

Whether or not you ever considered the possibility that the divorce court may come into your life the reality is that you can go to court on matters related to your life and marriage. A divorce trial has many elements some of which are not necessary to discuss in a blog like ours. Without getting trapped in the nitty-gritty have a divorce trial I think it is helpful for you to be able to learn more about the basic elements of a divorce so that you can better prepare for The realities better case presents for you and your family.

Breaking down the opening statement in a Texas divorce trial

The opening statement in a Texas divorce trial will lay out for the judge what the major issues in your case will be. An opening statement provided by attorneys is not evidence. Attorneys are not under oath and are not testifying When making those statements. there are certain things that your attorney will want to make sure that the judge understands about your case. An opening statement is a convenient and sensible place to begin that discussion. Typically, opening statements are an opportunity for the lawyer to directly address either a judge or jury. The opposing attorney will typically not object to or interject to an opening statement from the opposing lawyer. Therefore, this presents a unique opportunity for the lawyer to directly address the judge. 

Do not expect your attorney to immediately begin to make arguments or assert certain positions. Rather, the opening statement is more about setting a tone and presenting a statement of facts rather than speaking persuasively. Some clients expressed frustration or confusion about why their attorney does not speak differently within the contacts dove the opening statement. However, once you understand that the opening statement is not intended to encapsulate arguments you will understand much better what your attorney is trying to accomplish.

Another important thing to note at this stage is that a divorce trial involves only the issues that you are not able to settle with your spouse in mediation or informal settlement negotiations. It is possible for you two to have settled almost every issue involved in your case and to only need to go to trial on one or two subjects. this would be a much preferable and much shorter trial than if you are unable to settle any aspect of your case. working to diminish the time, money, and effort necessary in a trial ahead of time is the wise decision to make.

opening statements are important to the outcome of your trial but not overly so. Opening statements matter in terms of an overall feel for your case rather than purely on a substantive level. Your attorney will want you to come across as the more reasonable, rational, and professional of the two participants in the case. The judge will have an opportunity to analyze a countless number of facts and arguments in the other parts of your trial period however, the opening statement operates as more of a tone-setter than as a means of conveying evidence or doing anything substantive.

you may have heard about how an opening statement is intended to humanize or make a person seem more approachable or likable. In many ways, this matters more for trials that are in front of juries than in front of judges. I think this is the case because juries are usually more persuaded or persuadable regarding subjects like this do too they are relatively inexperienced in trials. Being presented with information and arguments in a divorce trial is a new experience for many people who will be serving on a jury.

Finally, what your attorney may want to do with an opening statement in your case is to present to the judge any unique circumstances that may be relevant to your case. Sometimes You may have a situation where you are going to need to discuss the sensitive subject matter for yourself or your spouse. Therefore, rather than catch the judge off guard during a trial you may want to begin to introduce this information in the opening statement. This gives you a chance to make sure the judge understands a basic amount of information from your perspective during the outside of a case rather than relying upon Turning to do so during the actual evidentiary part of the trial.

Note how your attorney will do their best to be as polite and respectful towards the judge as possible. Your lawyer will need to balance the need to catch the attention of the judge with not being able to make arguments or present evidentiary circumstances. Helping the judge to your case from her POV remove yes is the most important part of your attorney’s job. A judge may be accustomed to looking at a particular issue from a certain vantage point. However, if he or she can Have their thinking changed or adjusted due to an effective opening statement then your lawyer will have done his or her job.

Preparing for a trial

The opening statement of your divorce trial will likely be the beginning of a stressful period of your life. To be able to go through a divorce trial successfully means that you must consider what year’s ultimate goals are for the case and how you all want to accomplish them. This is done through meticulous planning before the divorce. You should be prepared to work with your attorney in advance of a trial so that you can present your case in the best possible fashion. It is best understood that if you are not preparing for your trial then almost certainly your spouse is.

When we Talk about going through a divorce trial it is important to note that A trial will likely be the most expensive part of your case. The amount of time and preparation that goes into a trial or almost certainly goes beyond the preparation for all parts of your case up to that point. However, this should not dissuade you from going through with a trial if it is the only way 2 conclude your case. Sometimes it is not possible to resolve your case in mediation or through negotiation. With that said, however, the family courts can hear your case and render a decision.

Therefore, working alongside your attorney to get ready for a trial is a good investment in completing this stage of your life and being able to move on to your life post-divorce. With as many options as there are in choosing a divorce attorney, your best bet is to begin interviewing lawyers before filing for divorce. The time we spend being able to learn more about attorneys at this stage in the case could greatly benefit you down the line even as you prepare for a contested trial.

Questions about the material in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

If you have any questions about the material in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the world of Texas family law as well as about how your family’s circumstances may be impacted by the filing of a divorce or child custody case.