Most people never see the inside of a courtroom in Texas, let alone be requested to testify in a case. However, in a high-asset divorce case, in which alternative dispute resolution attempts may not be possible, the soon-to-be ex-spouses involved in the divorce case may expect to testify in the case in some capacity, perhaps even in a trial.
The prospect of testifying in court can be terrifying for some people. As the common refrain goes, “public speaking” is a great fear for many people. Testifying in court, obviously, is a form of public speaking, but in a high-asset divorce case testifying may also involve talking about some very serious personal matters – and then being cross-examined on those matters.
Fortunately, there are some tips that can help Texas residents prepare to testify in court. For starters, one underlying premise must be remembered at all times: always tell the truth. Witnesses who testify in court are sworn to tell the truth on the stand, and the failure to do so could result in significant penalties.
With that basic premise in mind, Texas residents can also prepare by learning to listen to the exact question asked of them. Witnesses need to remember that they are there to answer exactly what was asked – and nothing further. It is also important to keep your temper in check at all times, and be polite to everyone in the courtroom. Lastly, witnesses can prepare by ensuring that they understand the questions that are asked of them. It is important not to guess. When witnesses don’t understand a question, they should ask for clarification.