When a hearing involves child custody, it can be very emotionally draining, even under the best of circumstances. While it is best that you do obtain legal representation in these cases, there are a few things that you will be able to do in order to prepare yourself for the hearing. Following are some tips on what to do in order to make this process as easy as possible for you and your child.
You should know that the language will be different according to the state you’re in, but in most cases, the standard is to determine child custody based on what is best for the child. In order to make a change or revision in child custody, the court will need to determine if there has been a significant enough change in circumstances to keep the custodial parent from taking adequate care of the child.
Some of the factors that the court will consider when determining a change or revision in custody are as follows:
- Mental/physical ability of the parent to care for the children
- Condition/atmosphere of the home
- Financial ability of parent to care for children
- Other individuals with access to the children
- Allegations of abuse- whether or not they involve the children
According to criminal defense lawyers, whether your intention is to keep custody or to change custody, it is very important that you properly document your case. You will need to make sure that you have a record of any positive factors/conditions that prove that you can care for the children and that it is in their best interest to be in your custody.
You will also need to be ready to prove any negative factors/conditions about the other parent and their situation. Though this is not the time nor the place to engage in mudslinging, it is an opportunity to make the court aware of any detrimental effects your children may suffer if not in your custody.
In order to collect proper documentation, you will need to keep track of important dates and details of occurrences. You will also want to take the chance to draft an affidavit that supports you having custody of your children. You will also want to make sure that you have some witnesses who are willing to support your claims.
When appearing before the court, you want to make sure that you and your witnesses are appropriately groomed and dressed. While it’s not required that you wear a suit, you definitely want to wear something that you’d wear to a religious service or job interview. Women should avoid wearing anything overly sexy and men should avoid wearing graphic t-shirts.
Finally, you want to make sure that you are completely and totally honest in your dealings with the court. You will not want to make any allegations that you will not be able to prove and you don’t want to attempt to mislead the court about the facts of the case, or else you may need one of a really good attorney.