Many times couples who are filing for divorce agree as to how the custody of the children should go, how much child support should be, and how visitation should be set up. Unfortunately, there are some couples who make these issues a major battleground and no matter how much mediation they go through there is no agreement. When no agreement has been reached, the couple finds themselves in court at a child custody hearing being represented by custody attorneys. |
When going into a child custody hearing make sure that you are calm because you will not accomplish anything worthwhile if you are in an emotional state. You need to put the child’s needs before yours and think of their best interest. Look at the situation from your child’s point of view. One important thing to remember before going into a child custody hearing is that the courts no longer automatically grant the mother custody of the children. Today the custody rights are based on the best interest of the child.
One of the first things that you need to do is a self-evaluation. You need to remember that honesty is the best policy in these hearings. Simply put having a custody hearing is because neither party can agree on child custody. This is sometimes because both parties are bitter at each other. As result, it is possible that the custody attorney of both parties is going to have everyone looking at each parent through a microscope. The judge will not only be focusing on the parenting skills of the parents but also looking at each one as an individual. If there are any skeletons in your closet that could affect the outcome of the custody hearing let your custody attorney know. Be prepared with a reasonable explanation because this will help to make your case stronger. Do not defend your wrongs but just accept them and show the judge how you have dealt with them effectively.
When talking to a custody attorney both parents will be evaluating their soon-to-be ex-spouse so again honesty is the best policy and view them as outsider would. It might be hard try to be impartial in your views when you are talking about the weak and strong points of them but by doing this neither the judge nor their custody attorney will be able to charge you with vindictive behavior. You will look like someone who is more focused on the child. You want what is best for him or her and not as someone who wants to get back at the other parent.
Make sure that you have all documents to support your case such as:
• Proof of financial stability
• Any witnesses that you have who can show how you are with the children
• Any police records or medical reports if the other parent has been abusive to the children along with any witnesses to this behavior
Just bring anything else that would show that you would be the best parent to have custody of the child or children to the custody hearing.
This article is penned by Richard Conrad for the husband and wife combine family law firm Schreier & Housewirth. Greg Housewirth and Holly Schreier are both custody attorneys with offices located in Dallas and Forth Worth, Texas. With 25 years of experience handling divorce cases, child custody cases etc you can trust them to help you with your trail.
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