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Basic tips for navigating Massachusetts divorce court

Sometimes, no matter how hard a divorcing Massachusetts couple tries to settle their differences, they end up in court. While no one can say divorce court is pleasant, it is sometimes a necessary part of the process. Of course, this time is guaranteed to be a stressful one no matter what the situation, and in such cases, it may be difficult to remember things that otherwise would feel like common sense, so individuals may wish to try to keep in mind some basic guidelines.

The first and most important may sounds silly, but it's crucial: Know exactly where the courthouse is, get there on time, and dress appropriately. The better the first impression an individual makes, the more likely court decisions are to be favorable. Bring all necessary documents along, and expect to spend the entire day there without being able to leave and come back, or even use a cell phone to cancel or reschedule plans. It's advisable to simply clear the day of all other commitments.

Another deceptively simple piece of advice is to remain calm and respectful. Getting nervous or upset, or speaking or acting rudely can result in negative attention and thus a negative outcome. If court proceedings are not going as an individual hoped, it can help to remember that everyone will have the chance to voice their opinions and disagreements, but until then, it's best to avoid speaking unless spoken to first.

Of course, court proceedings rarely -- if ever -- go entirely in favor of one spouse or the other; few people end up with everything they want, and compromise is often an inevitability in divorce. However, the best way to avoid additional, unnecessary problems is to let an experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney do all the talking in court. Lawyers are trained in appropriate courtroom behavior and typically know how to best navigate the proceedings. An experienced family law attorney can often relieve much of the stress and worry involved with the legal aspects of divorce.

Source:, "Getting Divorced? 10 Things You Should Do If You're Going to Court", Vikki Ziegler, Nov. 27, 2017

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