Whether you have a signed Agreement with your spouse prior to filing for divorce in New Jersey or you file for divorce without an Agreement in place, you can anticipate a court appearance. Most people have not been in a courtroom before. As a result, you may be stressed at the very thought of appearing before a judge. Don’t worry, that’s completely normal. With the right advice from your attorney and some preparation, you can ease the experience and take a big weight off of your shoulders.

Prepare

You want to look as respectful and appropriate as possible. You want the Court to take you seriously. Cut-off jeans, flip-flops, halter tops, and similar attire have no place in a courtroom.

Showing Up

There’s nothing more unprofessional than showing up late. A court date is no different. Be sure to leave early and plan for traffic. There are no penalties for showing up early.

Agreements

To reduce your time in court as well as legal fees, agree with your spouse on as many issues as possible beforehand. Try to agree on asset allocation, debts, property rights, custody and parenting time.

Hire a Trusted Attorney

Take time to hire the right attorney for you. Be sure to ask questions, research, and plan it out. The last thing you want to do is go at it alone, especially if you’ve never been to court before.

What to Look for in an Attorney

You want an attorney who will answer any questions you may have, especially about the legal process and the law as it relates to the facts of your case. You need an attorney who will present your case in the best possible light. And you want someone who has experience and is knowledgeable.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to interview several potential attorneys before settling on one. Ask about their experience, what they view as the sticking points in your case, how they see your case resolving, and their fees. If you and your spouse have not reached an agreement prior to filing for divorce, you may want somebody who has litigation experience and can win the case for you. Parties with agreements may want an attorney who can deftly guide them through the process of simply filing for divorce and finalizing the matter. Don’t take the process of picking an attorney lightly.