When a client is going through a dissolution of marriage, or is otherwise involved in a family law matter, it is often their first exposure to the court system and the idea of getting up on the witness stand an testifying under oath before a judge can seem very intimidating. The best way to reduce anxiety about testimony, however, is to be prepared.
Recently I wrote a book review for The Colorado Lawyer, a publication of the Colorado Bar Association, of a book called The Articulate Witness. This is a small, easy to understand volume that provides advice and exercises to help prepare witnesses to testify in court. This kind of resource can be helpful, but there is no substitute for taking the time to sit down with an attorney and go through the process, and the testimony to be offered.
Of course, the purpose of meeting with an attorney is not to rehearse testimony or create a script that should be memorized and repeated verbatim. Taking the time to discuss and understand the type of questions that will be asked on direct and cross examination, to order in which the testimony will be presented, the subject matter that will be covered by the testimony, how to react to objections during testimony, and simple courtroom logistics, will make the witness feel more comfortable on the stand. This comfort level can allow testimony to feel more natural, and more believable.
When you hire an attorney, you are not just hiring an advocate to speak for you and draft documents. You are hiring someone who has the experience to assist you through all aspects of a family law matter. Make sure that if you have questions about testimony or any other aspects of the case, you make use of all of your attorney's experience and resources.