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Appearing in court can be fairly intimidating thing to face, especially for parents who must go before a judge and their former partner to fight over who gets custody of their child or children. Not only may this be an emotional process, but a complicated one too. Parents who are not knowledgeable in family law proceedings can benefit from consulting with an attorney for insight and advice. One of the biggest concerns parents may have about the custody battle, is how to prepare so they can increase their chances of a favorable verdict.
Q: What is the best way to get ready for a child custody hearing?
A: Many parents going through a child custody battle, often prepare for the hearing by talking with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. It is important to the outcome of your hearing to be as ready as possible. Before the hearing, an attorney may help a parent prepare through the following:
- Preparing statements ahead of time: an attorney can help you think about what your ideal arrangement is regarding child custody, and how you can showcase why you are the most suitable parent. Rehearsing can be a great way to organize your thoughts and speak from a place of confidence after entering the courtroom.
- Preparing to answer questions: the judge is going to ask each parent several questions, to get a feel for which type of custody and to whom it should be awarded to based on the best interest of the child.
- Preparing witness testimonies: an attorney can assist with obtaining statements from people who advocate for your parenting abilities to present during the hearing.
- Wearing appropriate attire: showing up to the hearing well kempt and dressed professionally sends the message that you are a responsible parent to the judge. Attending a hearing messy or late may result in not the most positive first impression.
Q: How long is the hearing going to take?
A: The duration of the hearing depends on how many factors there are to consider, and how many sessions are to be conducted that day. Judges and other court representatives who have a busy day may be more inclined to streamline the hearing. Parents may want to be ready for a fast hearing just in case, so they don’t leave the meeting feeling confused and as if their voice wasn’t heard. Parents can work with their attorney to synthesize information, to put their best effort forward in such a brief period of time.
Q: What testimonies can be influential to the child custody hearing?
A: During the child custody hearing, there are many parties who may come forward to testify about their observations of one or both parents. They may share opinions about which parent is more suited to have sole custody over the other, or whether they believe both parents can share an equal role. Testimonies may come from the child (if of a reasonable age to make informed decisions), school officials, parents, babysitters, and anyone else of relevance to the custody battle.
Source: Child Custody Lawyers Plano, TX, Scroggins Law Group