Sad boy looking at camera while his parents argue in the kitchen

Child Custody Cases – Hearing Preparation

Generally, when preparing for a child custody case it is because the parents could not come to an out-of-court, mutual agreement so you have turned to the court to help settle this problem. You know that when you step into that courtroom the decision will have an impact on you and the child or children. Yes, you are probably angry, depressed, scared but one important thing that you need to do is to calm down. Nothing good can be achieved if you are in a heightened emotional state. You need to think about the child or children with a clear mind. Know what is in the best interest of the child or children and not what is best for you or the other parent. Try to look at from the child’s point of view.

Before child custody cases reach the courtroom you need to prepare yourself for the hearing.

• Self-evaluation-in child custody cases honesty is the best policy. Your opponent’s attorney is going to put you through a microscope so instead of waiting for them to use your weak spots or reopen old wounds that may have happened during the divorce case you should do it yourself. Do not limit your evaluation to just your parenting skills. The judge is going to see you as an individual along with your parenting skills. Know your commendable traits, which ones leave room for change. What parenting skills you possess and what you are weak on. What can you provide your child with, and will they be deprived of anything if they live with you? Your ex and their attorney are going to pinpoint even your slightest failings so be prepared with a reasonable explanation so your case will seem stronger. Do not defend your wrongs but accept them and show how you have dealt with them effectively.

• Know your enemy-this would be your ex so it is time to self-evaluate them and be honest about it. Look at your ex as an outsider and be impartial in your views of their weak and strong points. Make sure that his custody attorney cannot charge you with vindictive behavior. Do not appear bent on getting back at your ex but be one that is more focused on your child or children’s future. Think about is good and bad personality traits, does he anger easily and quickly, what parenting skills does he have any shortcomings as a parent, what he can give them, and more.

• Evidence documented-support any arguments with documentation. This can include proof of financial and personal stability, photos or videos that show you spend quality time with your child or children, police or medical records if your ex-was abusive to you and/or the children, witness statements, etc.