During the divorce process, many parents are unable to agree with each other on how to divide the time they have with their children, either independently or with the help of a mediator. For this reason, many parents find themselves preparing to fight for the custody arrangement they desire in a court of law. Although the process may be intimidating, there are ways parents can prepare beforehand.
During any child custody case, the best interests of the children are central to the final outcome. While making a determination about custody and other matters, a judge will likely consider a variety of different factors. These can include the emotional and physical needs of each child, each parent’s relationship with their children, the physical health of the individual parents, and the financial situation of each parent.
During a child custody case, parents will attend the court hearing without their children so that previously submitted evidence can be reviewed by the judge. Parents should bring copies of any documentation that supports their claim to custody. For instance, to prove their financial stability, parents should bring copies of their paystubs and their rental agreement to show they have room for their children in their home.
Preparing for a child custody hearing can be an intimidating process. Child custody lawyers exist to help parents navigate the emotionally-charged issues associated with vying for custody and to ultimately prepare for what will happen once the process begins. Working with a lawyer can also help parents ensure they have proper documentation to support their claim for either joint or sole custody.
Parents should remember that even if they do their best to prepare for their case, it still might not turn out how they had hoped. While parents may believe their arrangement is best for their children, the court will come up with a plan they believe meets the best interests of their children. Parents should also remember that after a certain period of time, their custody order can be changed.