Will I have to go to court?

If you have a case where you and your ex can't agree on all of the issues presented, you'll have to go to court. If you're able to agree on all the issues, you most likely won't. 

Going to court - especially for the first time - can be an intimidating thought. But really, it's probably not what you're thinking. We've all seen the big court scenes in movies and TV shows where you see the court's staff, 4 lawyers on each side, and two hundred people in the gallery wearing their Sunday best, all intently focused on the case in front of them. In reality, that's not going to be your case.

For your case, there will likely be a large crowd of people in the morning to set the order of the cases, then maybe 8 people in the room for your case who aren't involved. In probate court, the people waiting on other cases do so in a completely separate waiting area! The court staff is usually not that concerned with what's going on, because 1) they've seen it all before - no matter how crazy you think your case is, they've seen much, much more, and 2) because they're really just there doing their jobs, not observing. If anyone else is in the gallery, they'll be far more concerned with their own case, because (to no one's surprise) they have their court appearance that day, and are just as worried about their own cases as you are about yours. As far as the rows of attorneys on each side - it's almost always one attorney on each side. If there's a second, it's usually because someone has just graduated law school, and is working with an experienced attorney to get his or her feet wet. Considering that they're just there to learn, this is not someone you should feel intimidated by.

Aside from the number of people present - likely many fewer than you'd expect - and the number of those people who are paying attention - definitely fewer than you'd think - you have the aspect of your role. In a typical family law or probate case, you'll be asked questions to which you already know the answer. There's not usually a big reveal that "breaks" the case one way or the other, due to the amount of preparation that goes into getting a case ready for hearing. All you'll need to do is to be calm and honest. The rest is up to your attorney. If you're going in without an attorney, your nervousness is far more called for. 

If you're nervous about going to court, feel free to talk to The Lilly Law Firm about exactly what you should expect.