When a trial date is set for your divorce, it is imperative to prepare beforehand. Knowing what to expect is half the battle, and your lawyer can help prepare you for the specifics of navigating the trial process.
Here are key insights that will help you effectively prepare for the Arizona trial process:
The Joint Statement Will Frame the Issues Covered at Trial
Prior to any trial, counsel for the parties are required to submit to the Court a joint statement setting forth all agreements, all disputes, each parties’ position on each issue in dispute, and their list of witnesses and exhibits. This statement is typically due to the Court at least one week prior to trial.
Your attorney should afford you the opportunity to review and have input on this statement prior to its submission to the Court. This important document frames all issues for trial. You will not be allowed to argue about issues not in the joint statement or use witnesses or exhibits you have not listed.
Answering Questions Under Oath
At trial, your attorney will conduct your “direct” examination in which the attorney asks questions and you answer them under oath while on the witness stand. Opposing counsel will then have the opportunity to “cross-examine” you, after which your attorney can conduct “re-direct” to clarify or explain any answers you gave during your cross-examination.
Preparing for Questions
Your attorney needs to review with you the questions they will ask you and the topics they will cover on your direct examination in a practice session. Your attorney should prepare you for possible questions you may be asked during cross-examination. In addition, you need to familiarize yourself with the exhibits provided to the judge by both your attorney and the opposing counsel. Understanding how those exhibits might be utilized in connection with your direct or cross-examination will go a long way toward effectively navigating any questions you might face.
Courtroom Demeanor and Presentation
Your attorney should also talk to you about appropriate courtroom demeanor and attire. He/she should explain to you how objections are made at trial and what you do if an objection is made by one of the attorneys although you are on the stand. Some clients even like to observe a hearing in the courtroom in which their trial will take place to familiarize themselves with the setting and the judge.
Ideal trial preparation demands active involvement pre-trial with your attorney and the strategy of your case.
Contact us at Hallier Stearns PLC for more information on trial preparation and how we can effectively prepare you for the trial process.