Court During COVID-19: 5 Tips for Testifying Virtually

Navigating a divorce is hard enough without the added stress of a global pandemic. If your divorce goes to trial, navigating a virtual proceeding can be an entirely new emotional and physical hardship to overcome. Here you’ll find five useful tips to feel confident during your virtual testimony process.

1. You may be at home, but you're still in court- be dressed for the occasion.

Although you may be attending court from the comfort of your home, that doesn’t mean you should look like it. Having a neat appearance and being properly dressed is just as important as your testimony. Make sure you are wearing professional clothing, both tops and bottoms- you don’t want to be caught off guard in pajama pants if the judge asks you to rise!

2. Be prepared- virtually and physically.

Make sure to test all virtual equipment- such as microphones and cameras- the day before you court date and again at least 30 minutes before your proceeding start time. Also, make sure to have any physical documents your judge or lawyer may need ready and nearby to avoid getting up from your trial or testimony.

3. Don't let your surroundings distract you from your testimony.

Before you begin you virtual proceeding, make sure the room is cleared of all distractions. Children, pets and any other possible distractions should not be in the room while you are giving your testimony. If you’re able, arrange your testimony during a time that is free of these outside distractions. If you’re unable to schedule your testimony time and/or date, consider putting a Do Not Disturb sign on the door to warn children or other family members not to knock or enter the room.

4. Don’t let yourself become a distraction.

Treat your virtual court appearance with the same respect as you would in person. During your testimony, refrain from chewing gum or taking a break to eat or drink unless given permission. During your proceeding make sure to keep your attention focused on the trial, do not let your phone or any other devices distract you even when the judge is not speaking with you directly.

5. Relax.

It’s okay to be nervous, testifying can be a big deal in a divorce trial. It’s typical to get tongue tied and start to slur our words when we're nervous, however you must take a breath and remember to relax. Your testimony is important, not only to you but to the judge (and possible jury) as well. Make sure to speak clearly, slowly and in your own words.

Need additional help when it comes to divorce during a pandemic or virtual court proceedings? Contact our attorneys at C.Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

For more divorce tips, visit our blog.

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