If divorce goes to court, how you behave matters

Most couples in the Peoria area going through divorce file irreconcilable differences as the reason for the action. That catchall phrase allows you to seek a dissolution of marriage without having to establish legal grounds — something that can take a great deal of time and be complicated.

In the current environment in Illinois, many couples seek to resolve their divorce-related issues without going to court. This may be done through mediation or through negotiations. But when issues can’t be resolved, the court must weigh in. Experienced family law attorneys know the value of being skilled in whatever form of advocacy will best serve the client’s needs and situation.

As with any social act, the process of going to trial involves a certain decorum. The issues may be very personal and emotional for you. You may feel ill at ease in the courtroom. Feelings can ride very close to the surface. But to make things go as smoothly as possible and improve the chances of achieving the outcome you want, good impressions matter.

Certainly, you will want to be work with your attorney to be sure you understand exactly what will happen at whatever type of hearing you attend. This should include going through what will happen and what details in your case will be discussed.

Appearing in court doesn’t require that you dress as if you’re going to a gala, but it helps to approach the situation with some thought. If you’ve ever job hunted, you know the importance of looking clean, neat and wearing proper attire. Court should be no different.

A demeanor of respect for everyone in the room is a good one to adopt; even if you don’t feel it’s reciprocated. By keeping emotions checked and comments and answers respectful, you leave the best impression.

When you were younger, mom and teachers probably told you more than once to sit up and pay attention. It’s something to remember in court, too. What you want to show is poise, confidence and respect. That’s not what you convey if you’re rolling your eyes at others’ comments or glaring at your ex.

Divorce is pleasant only in rare cases. Being prepared ahead for every step of the process can help improve the chances of reaching a settlement effectively so you can get on with the next phase of your life.

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