Three Mistakes You Should Never Make When Testifying

In most divorce cases, the issues are resolved without the need for testimony from the parties.   However, there are some cases wherein testimony is taken in a divorce case.  If you are preparing for courtroom testimony, it is best to keep in mind there are three mistakes people make that can lead to unfortunate results.  However, it is easy to avoid making these mistakes once you know what they are.

Do Not Answer Immediately

This may seem counterintuitive.  After all, if a question is put to you and you know the answer, why wait.  The mistake people make is they don’t always think about the actual question asked.  Sometimes, they answer with the first thing that comes to mind.  By pausing just for a moment and actually thinking about the question asked, you give yourself time to come up with a complete answer to the question.

Do Not Interrupt

Common sense and good manners dictate you should never interrupt another person.  However, often when someone is testifying, they are nervous.  They may also have an agenda or feel the need to make certain facts known.  People often interrupt because they think they know where the lawyer is going with a question, so they just jump in with the answer.  First, you should never assume you know where a lawyer or the judge is going with a question.  Wait until the question has been asked, think about the answer for a moment, then answer the question that is before you.

Even if it turns out you were right and did know where the lawyer was going with the question, this does not provide a basis to assume you can interrupt in the future.  The court reporter can only take down one person’s words at a time. When you interrupt, you make the court reporter’s job harder – and may contribute to an incomplete transcript.

Do Not Guess

Obviously, you know better than to lie about anything while under oath.  That could result in perjury charges.  However, it is equally important to understand you should never guess an answer when you are on the stand.  If you don’t know, that is what you should testify to.  If you can’t remember, that is what you should testify to.  If you guess, and you guess wrong, this will not be viewed favorably by the court who is charged with making important decisions about property division, child custody and child support, and alimony.

Are You Facing a Litigious Divorce?

If you think you may be facing a litigious divorce, you need a divorce attorney with extensive courtroom experience.  At Eric C. Cheshire, P.A., we have over 25 years of litigation experience.  Most divorces do not actually go to trial.  Eric Cheshire has the skills needed to negotiate, participate in mediation, and engage in collaborative divorce as well. However, when a case does go to trial, you want an experienced litigator fighting for you.  Eric Cheshire can help.  Call our West Palm Beach office today to set up a consultation at (561) 677-8090.

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