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Jan-31-2018 01:00printcomments

5 Tips on Preparing For a Child Custody Hearing

Get "your ducks in a row" before attending a child custody hearing.

child custody hearing

(SALEM, Ore.) - One of the most difficult experiences you can have in life is going through a divorce. Generally, a lot of thought will be put into getting a divorce before this life-changing experience is made.

While divorce is never easy, it can be much harder on everyone involved if there are child custody issues to work out. Some divorce cases can turn very nasty when issues of child custody are raised.

If you are like most people, you want to keep your divorce proceedings as civil as possible. Rather than saying or doing things you will regret, you need to keep calm and let things play out naturally.

Seeking out the help of the professionals at is a great way to prepare yourself for a child custody battle.

Here are some of the things you need to think about when trying to prepare for a child custody hearing.

  1. Getting to Know the Child Custody Laws in Your State
    The main thing you need to do before attending a child custody hearing is to get familiar with the laws of your state. The lawyer you are using will be able to give you a breakdown of what the custody laws in your state are and how they apply to your particular case.
    Failing to get this type of information will leave you left in the dark when your case begins. By knowing what the laws in your state are, you will be able to prepare yourself for the tough road ahead. If you are unclear about parts of the custody laws in your state, make sure you consult with your attorney.
    They should have no problem addressing any concerns or answering the questions you may have.
  2. Find Out About the Better Parent Standard
    If you are requesting sole custody of a child, you need to familiarize yourself with the better parent standard. This is when a judge has to be convinced that one of a child’s parents is better than the other.
    While this may sound like a relatively easy process, it is anything but. If you are seeking out sole custody of your child, you will need the help of an experienced lawyer.
    A lawyer will be able to look at the details of your case objectively and let you know what type of outcome you can expect. If the lawyer does not think you can win with the better parent standard, they will work on devising another strategy to use in your case.
  3. Bring the Right Documents to Court
    The next thing you need to worry about when going to your first child custody hearing is bringing the right paperwork along. Generally, things like your personal records will be needed during these proceedings.
    If applicable, you will also need to bring a record of your child support payments and a visitation schedule. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with a list of documents that need to brought in to your first child custody hearing.
  4. Know What to Expect From This Hearing
    In most cases, child custody hearings are far less combative than other types of cases. Knowing what to expect on your day in the courtroom is a great way to avoid unwanted surprises.
    You need to be aware that these types of cases are not heard in front of a jury. The only person who will hear the details of your child custody case is the judge.
  5. Exercising Proper Courtroom Etiquette
    Another important thing you need to focus on is learning and exercising proper courtroom etiquette. Your lawyer should be able to give you a rundown of what to do in the courtroom.
    The more respectful you are of a judge and their courtroom, the easier you will find it to get through this difficult process with ease.
    When trying to find the right lawyer to help in your child custody case, you need to schedule a variety of different consultations.

Source: Special Features Dept.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.