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December 30, 2019

What to Expect at a Family Court Hearing

Gavel in a family court
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When you’re facing a family court hearing, whether it’s for custody, visitation, relocation, abuse or neglect, child support, or domestic violence, you probably are unsure what to expect. Family court hearings are important and have a lasting effect on your life.
Whenever you go to family court, it’s important to have solid legal representation beside you. The GDS Law Group is experienced in Hamilton County and Madison county family court hearings. We’re ready to get you the results you need. Make your appointment today by calling 765-313-7092 or use our online contact form.

Preparing for Family Court

When you have a family court hearing, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Meet with your lawyer in advance and discuss your case, your options, and evidence that can be used to support your position. Go over your testimony with them if you are going to testify. Ask any questions you may have about the case and process.
Learn where the courthouse is, how to get there, and how long you will be there so you will know how much time to allot. Take time off from work if necessary. Do not bring your child to court unless you are specifically asked to. Dress nicely, in professional clothing, for your hearing. Do not bring any weapons with you.

Arriving at Family Court

Be on time for your hearing. You will have to go through a metal detector and possibly have your belongings searched. Be sure to sign in and let your attorney know you have arrived. Your attorney may be with other clients on other cases when you get there, but will find you if you can’t find them.
If you need to bring food or beverages with you, they should be in a bag and should not be opened while you are at court. Your phone should be turned on silent the entire time you’re there. If you want to bring one or two people with you for support, be sure they understand they must remain quiet.

In the Courtroom

Your case will be called and you will enter the courtroom and sit at a table with your lawyer. The other side will sit at another table. If you are there for a custody or abuse case, there may be an attorney for the child, called a Guardian ad litem, present. If you have brought someone with you for support and they are allowed into the room, they will be asked to sit behind you.
Your job in the courtroom is to let your lawyer handle everything. If the judge asks you a question, you should answer it but other than that you shouldn’t speak. If you need to tell your lawyer something, lean over and talk quietly. Do not engage with the other parent.

The Hearing

If your case has a full hearing, it will be a bit similar to what you have seen on TV, but nowhere near as dramatic. Each side has a chance to present witnesses and evidence and cross-examine the other side. If you testify, you will first be asked to swear to tell the truth. When you are on the witness stand, answer the questions you are asked truthfully.
Depending on how long the case is scheduled for, there may be a break for lunch or to use the restroom. Be sure to be back in the room at the assigned time. If your hearing cannot be completed in the time set aside for it that day, it will be continued at another time.

The Decision

The judge might decide on your case right away, or you may have to wait for a written decision to come in the mail. Your attorney will explain when you will be notified of the decision. Call your attorney if you have any questions once you see the decision. It’s important that you completely understand the order and what is expected of you and what your rights are.
The GDS Law Group provides experienced representation in Indiana family court hearings. Our attorneys are ready to listen and help you get the outcome you need. Call our office at 765-313-7092 or our online contact form to schedule your appointment today.

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