It can be uncomfortable and even terrifying to attend a child custody hearing. If you haven’t dealt with something of this type before, you probably don’t know what to anticipate or how to behave. The good news is that Foothill Ranch Family Lawyer can provide you with some advice on how to get ready for your custody court. If you prepare, you’ll feel less anxious and better positioned for a successful outcome.
The following are five suggestions to help you succeed in your custody hearing.
- Become familiar with California’s laws and procedures governing child custody. There is a wealth of valuable information available online, but be cautious only to use sources you can trust. Lots of helpful information is given in the clear language in the Basics of Custody & Visitation Orders by the Judicial Branch of California.
- If sole custody is your objective, ensure you are aware of the criteria the court will use to determine which parent will be the best caretaker for your kid or children. As most judges will attempt to keep both parents involved (if this is in the best interests), you should also consult with your attorney to determine whether this is a viable option.
- Assemble the necessary paperwork and attend the court with it, working with your attorney. Additionally, you must confirm that any personal records you submit are acceptable. The evidence of child support payments, formal agreements on custody or support, and other pertinent details may all fall under this category.
- Ensure that your appearance and behavior are appropriate for a courtroom. Even though your case is only being heard for child custody and is not going to court, what you say and do can still impact how it turns out. In order to be successful, you must identify what to say and what not to say, what to wear and how to act, and even consider playing a role in the meeting when necessary.
- Have a plan on what to do. A jury is not present during child custody proceedings, in case you didn’t know. Did you know that the court will likely rule on the situation right away? Additionally, if you disagree with the outcome of a custody hearing, you may appeal the ruling. You won’t be caught off guard if you consult with your attorney and understand how these hearings operate.