Going to a child custody hearing can be stressful and scary for any parent. This is particularly true for parents who are unaware and unfamiliar with the process. In an effort to have a successful outcome, parents should consider investing time to plan for the hearing and, more importantly, parents should consider working closely with a family law attorney that has experience in dealing with child custody hearings. An experienced and qualified attorney can help the parent prepare for the hearing based on the specifics of the case. This article will help provide a general overview of how to prepare for a custody hearing. 

Understand the Local State Custody Laws

Every state will enforce its own rules and regulations with regard to child custody. An important step every parent that is preparing to attend a child custody hearing should consider is becoming familiar with his or her state laws. However, reading legislation can be tedious and overwhelming. A California Family Law attorney can provide you with the information you need and can help you navigate through the complex legal process. An attorney will undoubtedly help a parent understand what elements he or she is facing in the hearing.

Understand Important Standards Considered By the Court

Every court will consider the best interest of the child standard when it comes to child custody. This is particularly true if one of the parent’s is requesting sole custody of the child. With this standard, the court will determine if it is in the best interest of the children to live with one particular parent over the other. In order to best prepare for this, it is helpful to understand what factors courts consider in determining who the more suitable parent is. Speak to an attorney that has experience in child custody courts in your area. An experienced attorney will not only have insight on what the courts consider important, but may also provide an insight based on previous examples. They will be able to look at your situation, past and present even if this will be your first appearance in the court system. They can provide accurate predictions of outcomes. Be honest with your family law attorney. They are there to represent you and fight to protect your rights and serve the best interest of the minor children. Many may have details they may be embarrassed to share or disclose, but it is better that your attorney hears from you, rather than the other party’s attorney in open court. It can severely damage your case and your desired outcome as well as set potential roadblocks in your case down the road.

Always Attend a Court Hearing Prepared

Working with an experienced attorney can help a parent understand what important documents will be needed for a child custody hearing. An attorney can also help a parent determine if certain personal records are meeded. Some of the most common documents needed in child custody hearing include:

  • Detailed phone logs,
  • Annotated visitation schedules,
  • Documentation demonstrating child support payments, and
  • Other seminal notes and documents.
  • School and teachers reports and more.

Learn Courtroom Etiquette

Every parent must take courtroom etiquette seriously. Those who expect to have a successful outcome must learn to behave accordingly or find themselves losing custody due to improper procedure in the courtroom or what may be perceived as a lack of respect to the Court. Parents should consider speaking with a family law attorney who can outline what is expected of them in a court hearing. Sudden emotional outbursts could have a negative effect in almost every case. 

Consult a Family Law Attorney

Child custody hearings can be nerve wrecking for every parent, especially considering what is on the line. Speaking to an experienced family law attorney will not only help ease the pressure off worried parents, it will also help them better prepare for the appearance in court.

The attorneys at RM Law Group are experienced in handling child custody cases. They have a profound dedication to ensuring that every client is well prepared for a child custody hearing. If you are expected to make a court appearance for a child custody hearing, consult the support of a well-qualified attorney that has experience in family law.