By Sara Pitcher
Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer
At a divorce hearing, a witness may be called by either party. The judge will swear in the witness.
After the party who called the witness asks their questions of the witness on direct examination, the opposing party will be given the opportunity to question the witness on cross examination.
The opposing party’s questions may seem more aggressive. Do not worry. That is how the system is designed.
Then, the original party who called the witness will again be able to ask questions of the witness on re-direct examination.
Several days in advance of the hearing, you should schedule an appointment with your divorce attorney to discuss the topic of the hearing. Make sure your attorney has copies of any necessary documents to use as potential exhibits at the hearing and discuss whether you will be called to testify as a witness.
If it is likely that you will be called as a witness, your attorney should give you an idea of the topics that you will be asked about and provide some guidance regarding what the opposing party may ask you about and the manner in which you should respond.
For example, you may feel like opposing counsel’s questions box you in to a corner. That is what their questions are designed to do. Do not let this cause you to become argumentative.
Answer the questions as they are asked and stay calm and collected. Let your attorney deal with asking you the necessary questions to draw out the full story on re-direct.
The best thing you can do is to remain calm, patient, and only answer the question asked. Unless discussed previously with your attorney, do not provide additional information other than that requested in the question.
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