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Tips to courtroom success during New York separation

Did you know that you are being assessed during every phase of your New York legal separation proceedings? That’s right, during your legal separation, you may be sized up by judges and attorneys, all of whom are interested in learning more about your weaknesses and potential lack of credibility. To succeed during your New York breakup, you must appear poised, confident and informed – lawyers can recount scores of cases in which an unfocused client caused his or her arguments to be completely ignored. Here are some tips to help you learn how to behave while you are attempting to resolve your separation.

Even if you are not going through a formal divorce yet, you must appear professional and prepared during your courtroom appearances. Make sure that you arrive at least 15 minutes before your proceedings are scheduled to start. You could be hindered by traffic, parking and even entry into the courthouse, so plan accordingly. Arriving early shows administrators that you care about the proceedings. It also allows you a couple minutes to go over last-minute items with your attorney before the proceedings start.

Be sure to keep a “poker face” during all court hearings. You do not need to use outbursts to rebut the other party’s case. Use a neutral tone of voice, and refrain from showing contempt for the other party. Inflammatory statements are never appropriate in this context. Remaining neutral, clear, confident and concise will help your legal cause.

Show attention to details in the courtroom. Dress appropriately by pursuing a professional wardrobe choice for these proceedings. Make sure your cellphone is off while you are in the courtroom. Finally, avoid chewing gum, having a snack or smoking. Even though this advice may seem like common sense, it is important to keep your edge during all legal separation proceedings. Take these items into consideration, and you are far more likely to have a smooth and successful separation experience.

Source:, “How to behave in court: 9 tips to a successful divorce” Daniel Clement, Nov. 14, 2013