I have to testify at a divorce trial

This week, I have to testify on behalf of my brother-in-law concerning custody of his 4 year old daughter (my niece).
There are several witnesses on either side and the trial is expected to take awhile.
My brother in law is seeking full custody and there is a guardian ad litem involved.
I can’t go into detail, of course, because there is no way of knowing just who’s reading the SDMB right now, but I was just wondering if any Dopers out there have been through something similar and can tell me what to expect in the courtroom?

I’m pretty nervous and worried about the whole thing. The safety and well-being of my neice is riding on the outcome of this trial.


Well, depending on the issue at hand, the most specific advice I can give you is to generally make your answers or testimony as short, focused, to the point and concise as possible. Rambling, expository answers or statements can give the other sides attorney a foothold to discredit or call your testimony into question.

Don’t perjure yourself.

Unless, of course, you can get away with it. :smiley:

Be nice to the other side’s lawyers as well. It makes you seem more credible. Don’t ever give an answer longer than two paragraphs – let the lawyer ask you another question so they can elicit the information they want before the court.

Don’t be nervous.

Answer only the question(s) that are asked of you.

Do not volunteer information.

Be as honest as possible. If you do not know the answer to a question or are unable to remember something, say so.