General Business

Tips For First Time Participants At Family Court in Sydney

courtroom
Written by Traingin Smith

Those who are booked in for a date at family court in Sydney might be caught off guard with some of the standards and protocols that are implemented.

First time visitors should take note of the public expectations to ensure they are well prepared for their case to be presented.


Tip 1: Be Patient

Although a time could be set for a 12pm hearing at family court in Sydney, this could be a process that takes hours and hours. Given all of the issues surrounding family law and the cases that are given time on any given day, an applicant and respondent could be waiting for extensive periods of time in these environments. This is why it is fundamental that men and women of all backgrounds prepare for an extended visit and ensure they have children looked after, employers who have been informed and other parties notified. Individuals can lose patience when they are thinking about the implications of children, employers or other responsibilities, so these matters must be addressed as soon as the date is established in court.


Tip 2: Understand Security Protocols

It can be off putting, inconvenient and somewhat unnerving when being confronted by security personnel at family court in Sydney. Much like entering an airport, all sharp objects and technological devices have to be put to one side as individuals are searched on their way through. This is a space where tensions can be fraught and the last issue any security personnel want to be dealing with is individuals with objects at their disposal. It will be inconvenient, but it is a process to negotiate all the same.


Tip 3: Having Legal Counsel Assistance

lawyer

Participants who are booked in for family court in Sydney are under no obligation to hire a lawyer or have access to a publicly appointed solicitor for their case. However, these practitioners have the experience, skill set, contacts and temperament to help guide and manage a client through these anxious scenarios. It can be the small details about not placing possessions on the bar table to addressing a judge and expected waiting times that make a major difference. They will also be in a position to dictate the presentation of the case, advocating for their client’s rights and responding to attacks and accusations. That is a valuable service that many clients are willing to pay for given the stakes.


Tip 4: Correct Attire and Behaviour

The fact remains that there is no hard and fast rules on what attire should be worn when attending family court in Sydney, but impressions can count when it comes to cleanliness and presentation. Unless there is strict medical or religious rationale to the contrary, it is highly recommended that applicants and respondents dress is formal or neat casual attire and avoid bringing in any glasses, hats or mobile devices that are switched on. Even though participants can be stressed and under pressure to overlook these details, they can provide an unwanted distraction that does no good to their case for a hearing.


Tip 5: Addressing Judicial Officer

The final consideration that should be considered when attending family court in Sydney involves the addressing of the judicial officer in question. A judge in these circumstances will be dealing with a number of cases on any given day, and they won’t want to inform participants about correct code of behaviour. When asked a question about which party is the applicant and which is the respondent, this has to be clearly answered and articulated. This is very much a case of not speaking unless spoken to, ensuring there is no foul or abusive language, raising of voice or speaking with other parties inside the courtroom. The judge has the right to interject, but that privilege is not extended to other participants in the process.

About the author

Traingin Smith