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Preparing For Your Child Custody Hearing: What You Need to Know
April 13, 2016
Custody battles are often highly emotional endeavors. While working with family law attorneys can help guide you through the process, it’s still likely to be a tough road if you’re involved in a contentious battle. But if you are well-prepared, it’s going to be much easier. To answer some of your family lawquestions, we’ve put together a few things you should know about preparing for your child custody hearing. Of course, you should consult with a family law child custody attorney to discuss specifics about your case and what you should expect.
- Understand Laws and Standards
Child custody laws will vary depending on your state, so it’s important to become familiar with the ones that will apply to your case. Some states may favor joint custody, while others are more inclined to grant sole custody to a parent. And if you’re planning on requesting sole custody, you need to know all about the “better parent” standard and determine whether the premise of obtaining sole custody will be in the best interest of your children. Your family lawyer will explain all of the complicated regulations to you and help you determine the best course of action for your case.
- Compile Evidence
In a child custody case, you will need to prove to a judge that you are a fit parent and have a good relationship with your children. Testimony from character witnesses and even your own account will be helpful, but you should also gather physical evidence that supports your claims. Suggested items include photos of you and your children together, as well as pictures of your kids’ rooms at home, memorabilia from events you’ve attended together, or even your children’s awards, report cards, and other documents that illustrate what your their life is like at home. Give these items to your attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can decide which will carry the most weight in your case.
- Dress and Behave Accordingly
In a court of law — and especially for such a high-stakes case — you need to act and look a certain way. If you aren’t seen as respectable, it can really impact the outcome of your case. Your lawyer can explain in detail how you should dress and behave in court. You can even do some role playing so you know what to expect. A trial can be nerve-wracking, so the better prepared you are, the less anxious you’ll feel. And when you feel less stressed, you’ll be less likely to behave in uncharacteristic or unbecoming ways.
If you need help with a family court case, our child custody and divorce attorneys are here for you. To find out more or to schedule a consultation, contact the Martin Law Firm today.