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Procedure and etiquette for family court

Being required to appear in family court can be confusing and even frightening. Having a solid understanding of what will happen in a family law setting can ease the stress of a court appearance and help participants to understand their roles in the process.

The first thing to remember is that family law courts, like all other courts, have certain rules that must be followed. These rules cover everything from how motions must be presented to whether a cellphone can be used in the courtroom. Be sure to speak with an attorney about the court's rules regarding conduct, dress and other issues. Another important thing to remember is that, even though family court hears issues concerning children, it is never a good idea to bring the children to a divorce hearing. If a judge wishes to speak to the children, which is rare, he or she will request their presence.

In family law court, as in all other courts, those who appear have certain rights. If charged with child endangerment, for example, the defendant has the right to have an attorney present and to participate fully in all hearings related to the case. Those facing a divorce also have rights, such as the right to be present at hearings and to submit evidence to the court to support their claims.

It is possible that a case may be eligible for Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR. This type of dispute resolution includes mediation, arbitration and collaborative law. An attorney who practices family law can offer advice and help to those who are considering alternative dispute resolution or who must appear in family court.

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