Each of the different types of cases involves different issues but the process in the courtroom is very similar. The bailiff will call the names of the parties from the doorway and each party present will enter the courtroom. The bailiff will instruct you where to sit. Also present in the room will be the bailiff, the Trial Clerk, the attorney for DOR and the Support Enforcement Hearing Officer or Judge, depending on the type of hearing.
EVERYTHING that you say will be recorded and on the record whenever the blue light in the room is steady. The attorney may make an opening statement or may simply begin asking questions.
Generally, the custodian is the first witness. The questions should all be on topics you are well able to speak about, as they will deal with your finances and the child. The next witness is typically the Respondent who will be asked similar questions. If there are additional witnesses they will then be able to testify. Typical types of issues that may be addressed by additional witnesses are: cost of daycare, extraordinary parenting time, direct payments, extraordinary medical costs, etc.
The Respondent will then have an opportunity to tell the hearing officer those things that he or she feels the Hearing Officer needs to know and to call witnesses, as well.
At the conclusion of the evidence (the testimony), the Attorney will make a closing statement. Finally, the Hearing Officer or Judge will make a decision. Typically he or she will announce the ruling from the bench though occasionally he may take the matter under advisement for additional thought or research.
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