What Happens When People Testify in Divorce Trials?

Things can get pretty heated during a divorce trial, and many spouses have no idea what to expect when they begin this legal process. Most base their expectations on TV shows and movies they may have watched in the past, but the truth is that a real trial is often much less interesting and far more stressful than it seems in a Hollywood production. In addition, a trial can stretch on for many months and years before finally being resolved.

But with all that said, sometimes a trial really is the only way to resolve disputes in a divorce. If you have no other choice but to take this path, you should know that various people may be called upon to testify – including you. But what happens when people testify at a divorce trial? This question is perhaps best left answered by a legal professional, such as our divorce attorneys. Our lawyers can not only explain how a divorce trial works, but we can also help you strive for the best results during the legal process. If you are called upon to testify yourself, we can also help you prepare for this daunting process.

Who Can Testify in Divorce Trials?

Only some people can testify during a divorce trial. In addition, some witnesses are better than others. For example, some individuals bring inherent bias and prejudice to the trial, and they make incredibly unreliable witnesses. Your best friend or your mother is obviously going to say only good things about you, and the court will be made well aware of this fact.

If you want to make use of witnesses during a divorce trial, you should probably look for “character witnesses.” These are witnesses who can show the court that you have good moral character, and you deserve a favorable decision when it comes to things like child custody. These might include coworkers, neighbors, and friends. To avoid the suggestion of bias, you might want to choose mutual friends of both you and your spouse.

What if You Testify?

If you testify during a divorce, you have the chance to give your own side of the story. This can be useful in certain situations, as you may not have an opportunity to speak your piece at any other juncture. For example, you may have been accused of substance abuse during the marriage, and all of your spouse’s friends might have backed up this assertion. If these accusations are untrue, you can testify and explain what was really going on. Ultimately, it is up to you whether you would like to testify, and you can rely on advice from your attorney to determine whether this is truly the right decision.

If you do testify, make sure to follow a few basic rules. These rules also apply to any witnesses you call upon:

  • Stick to the facts
  • Respect the court
  • Answer “yes” or “no” without trying elaborate too much
  • Avoid hearsay testimony
  • Speak slowly
  • Stay calm
  • Avoid getting emotional
  • Avoid coming to conclusions

You should also know that you have a few important rights as a witness. You cannot be asked leading questions, and you must be allowed to finish your answers. In addition, you will be cross-examined by the other attorney if you take the stand. This means that the other attorney will have a chance to question you and try to destroy your credibility.

You Can Avoid Court Altogether

Of course, it is probably better to avoid the inside of a courtroom altogether. It might be easier than you think to achieve this with methods like collaborative divorce. Thanks to collaborative law, you can simply meet with your spouse behind closed doors and hash out the details of your divorce without ever having to go to court. With that said, this method is only possible if both spouses agree to actually go through with it. If one spouse refuses, there is no choice but to opt for a trial.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced family law attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted many spouses in the Tar Heel State, and we know how daunting a divorce trial can be. With our assistance, you can strive for the best possible results and approach this legal process with confidence and efficiency. Whether you are searching for witnesses or planning to testify yourself, you can prepare to face this undertaking and strive for a positive outcome. Book your consultation today for more information.