Thursday, March 11, 2010

Testifying in Divorce Court

When you filed your divorce, you thought you and your spouse would be able to agree upon everything, and you would get a divorce as soon as the minimum waiting period passed. Of course, one of the reasons you wanted a divorce is that your spouse is a very uncooperative person. And of course, once you started the divorce, your spouse showed his or her uncooperative nature again and has refused to settle anything.

You receive a call from your attorney advising you that the case is set for trial on a certain date. All of a sudden, you are facing the prospect of having to actually testify about the peculiar facts of your case. Of course, you know that the Judge will administer an oath to you along the lines of "do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" You also know it is perjury to go into court and lie. You would not do that. However, you have never testified before in court. You do not have any idea what to expect. Here are some practical tips for testifying in court:

1. Listen to the question. Make certain you understand the question. If you do not understand the question, ask the attorney to repeat the question.

2. Repeat the question in your head.

3. Only answer the question with the shortest answer consistent with the truth, and shut up. If you are asked "what kind of car do you drive?" answer "a Ford" not "a 2004 Ford Mustang GT Convertible with red leather seats". 4. Do not volunteer information. If you are asked "do you own IBM stock?" and the answer is no, simply say "no", rather than "I owned 400 shares of IBM stock back in 2001, but I sold them and used part of the money to buy the Corvette and the rest of the money for our Mexican vacation".

5. Do not get angry.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at


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