When it comes to deciding which parent will get the kids on what days and what times, it can be a very tense situation. If you are unfamiliar about the child custody hearing process, it can be very nerve-wracking. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could cost you time with your kids. This is why preparing for the child custody case is so important.
If you haven’t already hired a great child custody lawyer, you want to do this before the court hearing. While hiring a lawyer is not mandatory, they can better prepare you for what to expect and give you better chances at getting what you want. Here are 3 tips you should be aware of before your hearing.
One of the biggest things you can do before the case is to understand the law surrounding child custody. Every state has different laws that help make decisions which each situation. You should find out what your laws say about child custody so you know what to expect. This will give you the best preparation as to what the judge will likely decide.
Don’t assume you know what the judge will decide. Each case is handled differently and can have different outcomes. All you can do is be prepared and respectful throughout the hearing. Your attorney will be your best source for helping you understand the state laws.
When you enter the court room for your custody hearing, you want to make sure you have everything you need. It is highly unlikely that any judge will delay the hearing just because you may have forgotten something. Before you head to court, you should go over your checklist to be sure you have everything you need.
Some of the items you may need during the child custody hearing include school information, financial documents, references, and more. If you aren’t sure about what you’re going to need, you should discuss this with your lawyer. They too will have some documents ready to present to the judge on your behalf.
Before you step into the courtroom, you should do your research on what the proper courtroom etiquette is. This includes everything from how to dress to how to answer the judge. There are numerous sources for getting this information online or you can ask your lawyer. In some cases, the lawyer will do most of the talking. Should the judge address you directly, you should always answer with, “yes, your honor.”
As far as what you should wear to court, you always need to dress conservatively. While you don’t have to dress to the nines for your custody hearing, you should try and dress business casual. This gives off the impression that you are trying to be respectful. Your lawyer should go over all this information with you before your hearing to ensure you understand what is expected.