What you need to know when attending Court for a Family Law matter
- Be prepared. If it is your first time appearing in court it may be helpful to attend a hearing beforehand so that you have an understanding of the process.
- Arrive early! Give yourself time to find the courtroom and discuss any outstanding matters with your lawyer before your matter is called on
- Always bow to the Judge or Magistrate whenever either of you enters or exits the courtroom
- Never speak directly to the Judge or Magistrate unless invited to do so and, if you do, remember to stand
- Always refer to the Judge or Magistrate as "Your Honour", "Sir", or "M'am"
- Listen carefully to any orders made by the Judge or Magistrate during the hearing
Dress to impress
- Court is a formal occasion and as such a formal standard of dress should apply
- Suits are standard, but if you don't have one, aim to cover up
- Remove your hat or sunglasses before entering the courtroom
Avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself
- Do not bring food or drink into the courtroom; the court will provide water for the parties and their lawyers
- Ensure your mobile phone is switched off
- Refrain from pulling faces or making any distracting noises - if you do, you risk being reprimanded by the Judge or Magistrate
- Don't ask your family or friends to take notes for you - they are not permitted to do so and their notes may be confiscated
- Children are not permitted in the courtroom - childcare facilities are available if needed
Everything is recorded
- Always remember, the microphones are running, whether the Judge or Magistrate is in the courtroom or not.