Have you never been through a child custody hearing before and don't know what to expect? Read this helpful guide so you know what happens during the hearings.

What Happens During a Child Custody Hearing?

Today, about 40% of households in the United States are blended families. These situations require two parents not living together to get on the same page. 

Child custody is often decided by the courts and may also require several mediation sessions until you find a workable agreement. 

So what steps should you follow to get the most out of a child custody case? We’re glad to serve as your guide. 

Keep reading to learn more about preparing for a child custody hearing. 

It’s the Judge’s Job to Decide What’s in Your Child’s Best Interests

Child custody hearings require the judge to use their discretion when formalizing a custody order for your family. 

Because the judge is the deciding factor, never stress yourself out with details that don’t matter or are out of your control. Judges decide in favor of what’s best for your child and will often prefer some version of joint custody so that your child has a balanced upbringing. 

The judge will consider things like your child’s age, where they go to school, the residential location of both parents, the child’s desires, and other factors. 

You’ll Both Have the Opportunity to Challenge if You Disagree

Hopefully, you and the other parent are cooperative when arranging for custody. However, gaining custody requires a hard-fought legal battle for many parents. 

You’ll have the opportunity to tell your side of the story and convince the judge why you’re fit, and the other parent is unfit. Be prepared to advocate for yourself and to move strategically. 

Make Certain That You’re Able to Furnish Proof and Answer Questions

You need to be ready and willing to answer questions when you have a child custody trial on your hands. 

The judge will ask about your income, work schedule, contributions to the child’s life, and other circumstances. Documentation and your presence and etiquette in the courtroom go a long way, so prepare to the best of your ability. 

These Court Hearings Are Private and Detail-Oriented

You can count on all of your court hearings to be private. Family court is generally not open to the public, particularly when it involves juveniles, for your privacy’s sake. 

These hearings are more conversational in nature and less formal like a trial, but you’ll still be required to speak in your turn and conduct yourself cordially and professionally. 

If you and the child’s other parent are at odds, the judge may request witnesses that can speak on your behalf. 

Work on hiring a custody lawyer that can handle your entire situation. A child custody lawyer will go through every detail of your case so that your rights are protected and so that you receive a favorable outcome. 

Prepare for the Child Custody Hearing

These tips will help you out when you have a child custody hearing that needs your attention. Going through a child custody battle can be rough, but it’s an important matter that you’ll want to handle correctly. 

Check out the tips above and browse our other posts related to court and family matters. 


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