Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Be prepared to make a short speech at the beginning of your case explaining why you shouldn't have to pay what she's asking for. A minute or two is enough, and the judge doesn't always ask for them. Also be prepared to summarize your arguments at the end, in case the judge wants to hear a closing. You'll be allowed to cross-examine your wife, meaning you can ask her questions about what she's saying. You can object to any evidence she tries to introduce that isn't relevant (or that violates the other rules, see below), and you can try to show the judge when she's not being truthful.
If you have the time, most trials are open to the public. You could go to the courthouse and sit in on a couple to watch. Or you could search YouTube for California divorce trials and see if you find any helpful excerpts.
Familiarize yourself with the Rules of Evidence. The Evidence Code is available online, although it's a bit dense. You may want to see if you can get an overview at a legal bookstore or a local library, because it's easier to digest in layman's terms.
Did you have any other questions about this?