If you have a solicitor, it is likely that you will have spent time together discussing the points that you wish to make in court and the paperwork to support these. If you are representing yourself, here are some tips to help you prepare.
- Be prepared, as this will help you to remain calm and explain yourself better.
- Plan to make key points and try to keep them focused on what is best for your child and for your safety.
- Arrange your paperwork in folders so that it is easy to find information that you plan to refer to. The last thing you want is to be rustling crumpled papers in the bottom of your bag as this will make you feel flustered.
- Practice what you want to say and bring a paper and pen so that you can make notes.
Watch this video about representing yourself in court
What to wear
If you have some smart clothes, like a suit or a blazer style jacket you can make sure that these are clean and ironed the night before so that you feel less anxious attending court. Try to present yourself in the best way possible and avoid leaving things to the last minute so that you don’t feel stressed or rushed. It’s helpful to feel comfortable in what you are wearing.
Getting to Court
Find out where the court is and plan to travel there so that you arrive at least 30 minutes early. Research the best routes and check that public transport is running as planned. If you are travelling by car check that there aren’t any scheduled road works and research the best parking so that you don’t end up walking miles when you arrive. Try and factor in any possible delays, this will help to ensure that you feel calm and confident when you arrive.
Arriving at Court
When you get into the court building let the Usher know that you have arrived, and they will show you where to wait.
Switch off your mobile phone before entering the Court. Ask the Usher if you have any questions and let them know if you need to nip out for any reason, so that they know where you are if you are called for your hearing.