When you think about the biggest days you will ever experience, those momentous occasions that change the direction of your professional and personal life, the ones that stay in your memory, you come up with a grand list: your graduation from high school and/or college, your first ‘real’ job, your wedding day, your children’s birth.
You anticipate those days, you ‘X’ each number on the calendar, sometimes you even count down the hours. You spend time preparing, going over every detail, covering the same ground over and over. You do your best to make sure everything goes well. No mistakes, no slip ups. Everything must be perfect.
You should make similar plans for your court date.
Unlike the other events, you know the theme of this one is frustration, unhappiness, and an abundance of time-consuming and expensive stresses. And you can make it worse by not preparing properly. Humans avoid unpleasant situations. For some reason, we seem to think the more we spend preparing for these situations, the worse we make it. We feel it prolongs our agony, adds to an already uncomfortable process.
But if you fail here, it will negatively affect the direction of your life. When preparing for court, you must make yourself as comfortable and organized as possible. This means going beyond the consultation with your attorney. Physical and logistical issues are what come into play here.
Long before your date, visit the court room. Know where it is, calculate the drive time and the cost for parking. Walk in the building. Get a feel for the atmosphere. Remember “Showtime Begins and Ends in Court from Your Car.” How are people dressed? “Buy or Clean a Coat and Tie Prior to Court.” Where is your court room located? What about the rest rooms? What’s on the cafeteria menu or available from vending in the break room? What’s the cost of a lunch or what restaurants are nearby? Buy a cup of coffee and just sit and notice what goes on. In an environment filled with stress, you will find yourself in a relaxed mood. After a while, the building will then be less intimidating. No, you won’t be comfortable, but becoming more familiar with your surroundings will elevate your mood just a bit.
And on court day, you’ll want and need every advantage you can get.
What preparation can you do to help you maintain calm on your court day?
Fred Campos is father to three and primary custodian to his daughter Caitlyn from a previous relationship. Image courtesy of kjnnt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.