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Preparing for Court

November 14, 2023 | Return to REACH Hub
Ver la página en Español: La preparación para la corte

Did you know that most domestic violence and sexual assault survivors who go to court don’t have a lawyer? It’s no surprise then that preparing for court is one of WomensLaw’s most asked-about topics. When survivors know what to expect, they can have better experiences and outcomes in their cases.

WomensLaw is here to help survivors prepare for court on their own. From starting a case to going to trial to after the judge gives a decision, has tips and legal information on every step. Survivors and advocates can also use the WomensLaw Email Hotline to ask an attorney for personalized legal information.

This month, we’re highlighting our Preparing for Court videos, a series of short videos with Spanish audio and English subtitles. Check out these and more videos at!

Things to consider and do before filing a court case

Decide if going to court is right for you and learn how to gather and prepare evidence for the case.

What happens after filing your petition or complaint

Learn about the usual next steps, common motions, discovery, and what to do if the other party doesn’t comply with your discovery demand.

What to expect at a hearing or trial and how to prepare for it

We discuss how to prepare for a hearing, the usual set-up inside a courtroom, and safety considerations for survivors. We also go over things to think about before calling witnesses.

Courtroom experience: Courtroom basics and common objections

Using a mock courtroom as an example, we explain how the courtroom process will likely unfold, how to talk to the judge, and common objections used in court.

Courtroom experience: Admitting evidence into the court record and the basics of direct and cross-examination

Using a mock courtroom as an example, we explain how to enter evidence into the court record and how to question witnesses.