The legal field can be quite intimidating. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with a family law case. The tensions are high, and it can get to be emotional. You may not want to tell someone who’s basically a stranger about your concerns and wishes, as well as any problems that are important to the case, but it’s a necessary part of ensuring your rights as a parent or guardian are protected and the children’s best interests are always being kept at the forefront.
Keep in Mind Your State’s Child Custody Laws
It’s crucial that you know the custody law for your state. If you go into this process without much knowledge or experience, that’s fine. Just be sure to discuss this with your attorney and their team so that you have a solid understanding of what’s involved and what could play a role in your specific case.
Understand the Better-Parent Standard
Even if there isn’t some extreme reason to bar your ex or the child’s other parent/guardian from being in their life and having custody, there may be a reason why you’ll end up filing for sole custody of your child. In this instance, you’ll want to know what the better-parent standard is. You’ll basically need to help build a case and convince the judge that you’re the better parent (at least in terms of having custody). This may be incredibly difficult to prove, so you would benefit from having a top-notch legal team on your side to assist you with this matter.
Have the Right Documentation
It’s important that you have all of your documents in order. When you have the proper documents early on and make sure that you bring them to the child custody hearing, this shows the judge that you’re serious and responsible. A family law expert can help you figure out which ones to bring and if your personal records are going to be admissible. You might end up bringing proof of child support payments, a phone log that contains details, and various other notes that pertain to what you’re trying to prove.
Dress and Act Appropriately
When you’re getting ready for your custody hearing, you’ll need to make sure that you’re dressed in appropriate clothing. You might opt for business casual or simple dress-ware for this hearing.
In addition to what you’re wearing, you’ll want to act in a calm and polite manner. Try to completely avoid emotional outbursts that include making any accusatory statements. This can be seen as a detriment to your character and might cause you to lose your case.
Know What to Expect in Your Hearing
Your attorney can talk to you about what you’ll do and what you can expect from your hearing. You may not have the opportunity to speak up on your behalf. In many instances, a lawyer will be the only one to present the documentation and anything that supports your position to the judge who will make the final decision about whom to award custody.
When it comes time to get ready for a custody hearing, you would benefit from talking to a Riverside Family Lawyer. Reach out to us today to get started.