A child custody hearing can be a very emotional process. Parents love their children and want what’s best for them, and often that comes with opinions as to how the custody process should go.
Four Ways To Prepare Before You Head Into A Child Custody Hearing
1. Arrive With Forms Prepared and Completed
With any legal process, child custody hearings notwithstanding, you will often be asked to submit particular forms. Make sure that you have these filled out completely and accurately before arriving in the courtroom. With custody hearings, the judge might also ask you in advance to prepare a parenting plan, child support schedule, or proof of income. Having these organized and ready to hand over prior to the start of the hearing will not only make a good impression on the judge, but will also minimize your stress.
2. Stick to the Facts
Try your best to keep emotions out of the equation. Avoid personal attacks against the other parent, and be polite to the judge. A calm, reasonable parent is much more likely to be heard than an individual who comes into the room attempting to prove a point with anger or hostility—don’t give anyone in the room an opportunity to test your level of maturity or judgment. This is especially important if your child is present. A child custody hearing should always be child-centered.
3. Be Ready to Answer Questions
Remember that nobody is on trial when it comes to child custody, but the judge will sometimes ask important questions. Be prepared to relay not only the child’s daily schedule and routine while living with you, but also interests, favorite places, and important developmental contributions like their education, religious exposure, or favorite friendships that would be impacted by a change in custody.
4. Choose Experienced Legal Representation
When it comes to the future of your child and family, child custody hearings are important events that should be well prepared for. Seeking the help of an experienced law firm like MacDowell Law Group can make the process easier and help you get the results you hope for. Don’t head into something as important as a custody agreement without an experienced hand at the wheel.
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