Three Things To Know Before Going To Your Child Custody Hearing

Posted on: 28 November 2016

Getting divorced can be a stressful situation. Even more stressful and challenging, however, is trying to ensure you have custody of your children once the divorce is all said and done. If you are preparing for a child custody hearing, here are three things you should know beforehand. 

Know the Kinds of Questions the Judge Will Ask

The whole point of a child custody hearing is so that a judge can determine which kind of custody arrangement (sole or joint) is in the best interest of the child or children involved. More than likely, the judge will ask several questions, including the following:  

  • What is your financial status? 
  • What kind of child custody arrangement are you seeking? 
  • What is communication like with the child's other parent?  
  • What parts of your current child custody arrangement are working and which are not? 

When a judge asks these types of questions, their intention is not to be nosy. Instead, the judge is simply trying to figure out what will be best for the child.  

Know the Child Custody Laws in Your State

The child custody laws differ from state to state, and it would behoove you to know what they are in the state that is handling your case. In some states where the parents are not married, it is automatically assumed the mother has custody, while in other states single mothers need to file for custody.  

While understanding these laws can seem like a daunting task, attaining this knowledge will be to your advantage. Not only that, but it will be helpful when preparing a list of questions for you lawyer.  

Know Which Documents to Bring to Court

It's important to have the right documents for your child custody case. This is especially true if you are vying for sole custody. Sometimes you need to provide evidence that shows you are the better parent when it comes to caring for your child. Some examples of documents you might need to bring include: 

  • Phone call logs - these can help prove there has been constant communication between the child and each parent 
  • Visitation schedule - shows that a parent is trying to have a meaningful relationship with the child 
  • Proof of child support payments or receipts that show proof of providing for the child in other ways  

One more thing that you should know about child custody hearings is that if you are a self-represented litigant, you will be eligible for family court assistance, where office staff can inform you of court procedures, court forms, and give you information about legal services.

For more information, contact a law office such as the DeSanto and Kellogg Law Office LLC.