You are your own best witness when it comes to providing testimony in your Colorado divorce hearing. It is natural to feel apprehension and even fear when faced with testifying in court during a divorce hearing.
A contested divorce usually ends up in court. In a divorce a final hearing is scheduled in front of the judge who will issues final orders on your case based on that hearing. This hearing involves calling in witnesses to testify on your behalf, including you. During the court proceedings the judge will hear both parties and their witnesses in order to make a fair decision on the case. The testifying process is relatively straightforward.
At some point during the hearing, you will be called to the stand and sworn in. Your attorney and your spouses attorney will both ask you questions. The duration of your testimony depends on several factors. You may be testifying for less than an hour or for several hours. In some cases the judge may ask you questions to clarify something you have said. Your testimony is your opportunity to tell your side of the story. Always keep in mind that you are under oath and perjury is a serious charge.
A few helpful things to keep in mind when you are on the stand providing your testimony.
Keep It Simple
Answer each question with a simple to the point answer. It can be hard when you are on the stand not to blurt out everything you want the court to know but refrain. Clear concise to the point answers are the way to go.
Make Sure You Understand
If you have a question about a question you were asked make sure you bring it up. It is very important that you understand what each question means before you answer. If you did not understand the question say that you do not understand and ask that it is rephrased. If you do not hear the entire question ask that it be repeated.
Take a Second to Answer
After each question take a moment to think about your answer. This slight pause lets you focus on a clear answer and also give your attorney an opportunity to object to the question if it is possible.
The above suggestions are general tips and not to be considered concrete answers. Your attorney will help you prepare for your testimony. Your lawyer can provide you with more detailed directions and brief you further on what to expect during your hearing. If you are nervous find ways to calm your nerves.
If you do not have an attorney, consider hiring an attorney to represent you through complicated and stressful divorce proceedings. Testifying on your own behalf can be very stressful.