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Family Law Court Appearances

File Necessary Forms on Time

Prepare to Speak to the Judge in Court

Arrange Child Care

Arrange Interpreter if Needed

Select Appropriate Attire

Plan Timely Arrival at Court

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File Necessary Forms on Time

Be sure to meet all deadlines for filing any documents needed for your court date. Read the Codes and Rules in the law library if you are not sure what to file with the Court and when. Be aware that all facts and evidence that you wish the judge to consider must be provided to the other party and the Court before the hearing in the form of a written declaration sworn to under penalty of perjury.  In addition to your declaration, you may use the declarations of other adults. 

Prepare to Speak to the Judge in Court

You need to organize your thoughts about the issues to be handled on your court date. Think about what you want to say.  Make some notes to help you remember the main points. Gather documents that may help you remember things that are important. You should be prepared to tell the judge what the issues are, what solution you think is best, and why. Be sure to focus on the issues that are the reason your court date was scheduled. The judge cannot address issues that are not identified in the original paperwork filed to request the hearing. If you have other problems to resolve, you can schedule a separate hearing for that purpose.

Arrange Child Care

Make child care arrangements for your minor children. Children are not permitted in the courtroom. 

Arrange Interpreter if Needed

If you require the assistance of an interpreter, you will need to secure an interpreter before your hearing. You may use an adult friend or relative to interpret for you, but minor children of the parties cannot be used as interpreters. Also, parties are not permitted to share a single interpreter.  Interpreters are offered without charge only for Domestic Violence and Contempt hearings.

Select Appropriate Attire

Plan to dress for your court date as if going to a job interview in a business office. Suits or slacks and long-sleeved shirts are best for men. Pant or skirt outfits and dresses are appropriate for women. If you are coming from or going to work, your uniform or work clothes are fine. Make sure that you have made an effort to be neat, clean, and well groomed. Try to present the best side of yourself. After all, this is a place of business and you are going to be meeting the Judge about something important to you.

Plan Timely Arrival at Court

Arrange to be in court on time. It is very important to be on time for all scheduled court dates. Allow extra time due to possible traffic congestion. If you are late, your case could be removed from the court calendar, postponed, or the judge could rule against you without you being heard at all.

 

 
Superior Court of California, Kings County
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