Preparing for a Child Custody Hearing

Child Custody Lawyer

It can be emotionally agonizing to have to fight for custody of your child. Parents may split up and then have to negotiate the terms of child custody. One parent may feel they are best suited for sole custody, while the other completely disagrees. Sometimes, a parent that is bitter over the breakup may even use the children as a way to get back at the other. Due to the sensitivity of such a dispute, it may be best for a parent to get legal representation as support every step of the way.

Parents who have never had to argue custody over their children, may be nervous about what to expect. When meeting with a child custody lawyer relies on, a parent may ask a variety of questions about how to prepare for a child custody hearing:

Q: What if I don’t get along with my ex?

A: Even though you and your ex may not get along very well, it is best to try and cooperative while putting hard feelings aside. In the eyes of the court, a parent that is not willing to work with the other may be seen as not entirely fit to be a role model for the child or children. During a hearing over child custody, keeping yourself composed and respectful even if your ex is being volatile, will probably result in you looking like the preferred parental candidate. The court hopes to see that each parent wants what is best for the child, which is having two stable and loving parents.

Q: I have heard of home evaluations, should I request one?

A: It can work in your favor to request a home evaluation by the court. You are showing that you are willing to make changes to your home environment for the betterment of the children, and also that you have nothing to hide. If the judge makes suggestions, the critical part is actually following through with these recommendations.

Q: What if the judge asks me to attend a parent class or therapy?

A: It can feel like a personal attack initially if the judge asks you to attend a parent class. However, see this as an opportunity to show you are open to doing what it takes to keep your child. If you deny any requests made by the judge, such as therapy or even moving, it may be viewed as you are not truly committed to doing what is most ideal for your children.

Q: What should I wear to the court hearing?

A: When going to court, dress to impress. Whether we like it or not, other people may make inferences about us based on how we present ourselves. If a parent shows up to a serious court hearing over child custody in sweats and with an unkempt appearance, he or she is probably going to be frowned up from the start. If you have never attended a court hearing before, it can help to get insight from a qualified lawyer in your area who is familiar with family court disputes.