Do I have to see my ex-partner in Court?
How early should I get to court before my Court hearing?
How many times will I have to go to Court?
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Can I take a family member or a friend to Court with me for support?
Who do I tell at court to let them know that I have arrived for my hearing?
Going to Court - Further information
Family proceedings are confidential so only the parties are usually allowed into court There is also at the present time very little court reporting, however the courts are trying to be more transparent by allowing more of this, including publishing of judgments.
This depends on the level of the judge. Magistrates and district judges are usually called Sir or Madam; Circuit judges are usually called Your Honour, and High Court judges My Lord or Lady. However if you are representing yourself the judges will understand that you do not know how to refer to different judges and will accept you referring to them in a polite form.
It is not a good idea to bring children to court, as court waiting areas tend to be very busy with a variety of different cases taking place. If you cannot make other arrangements for child care then you can bring them to court but depending on their age as a last resort and whether the case involves them or not, they may not be allowed into the courtroom with you. If Social Services are involved with your case then you should discuss this difficulty and seek their assistance.
There are no official requirements for non-lawyers attire at court but we would generally advise you to be dressed in a smart and business-like way. Very casual clothing like shorts, flip flops and clothing with rude slogans may be considered inappropriate.