How To Prepare for a Child Custody Hearing

Going to your first child custody hearing can be scary, especially for parents who are unfamiliar with the child custody process. Nevertheless, with just a little planning in advance, you can present a convincing case and win child custody. In addition to working closely with your child custody lawyer, use the following resources to prepare for your custody hearing.

Sad girl hearing her parents arguing in a kitchen

1. Know the Law

Child custody laws vary from province to province. Therefore, one of the first things you should do is become familiar with the child custody laws in the governing jurisdiction the child resigns. Reading the fine print can be tedious, but it will help you to find out for yourself what you’re up against before attending your child custody hearing. Reading up on the latest laws can also help you prepare a list of questions to ask your lawyer as your court date approaches.

2. Understand What It Means to Be The Better Parent, and The Best Interest of The Child

Being the better parent is not a competition but rather a standard that comes in to play when a parent is requesting for sole custody. Essentially, the onus is on you to convince the judge that you are better than your spouse, or the mother. To best prepare for your child custody hearing, be sure to look at what the court’s are often looking for and consult with your lawyer about how to show yourself to be the best caregiver for your children.

3. Bring All The Necessary Document To Court

Work with your lawyer to determine what documents to bring to your child custody hearing and whether your own personal records will be admissible. Your lawyer will suggest you bring in anything that is relevant to argue your point.

4. Learning Proper Courtroom Etiquette

Parents who hope to win child custody must behave appropriately in court or they are risking losing the child custody hearing. Discuss proper courtroom etiquette with your lawyer to get a better understanding of what is expected, as well as any pitfalls you need to be on the lookout for. In addition, do some role playing with your lawyer in advance, if possible , and make sure that you understand the expectations outlined prior to your court appearance.

5. Know what to Expect During Your Child Custody Hearing.

Child custody hearings tend to be less adversarial or combative than other types of court cases. Parents seeking to win child custody should know what to expect in advance so that they can best be prepared and anticipate each step of the process. Your case will be presented in front of the judge, and he or she will make decisions and issue a child custody order.

6. How to Dress for Your Child Custody Hearing

Dress to impress. Seriously, parents who hope to win child custody should prepare to make a positive first impression. Proper courtroom attire should never be overlooked. You only get once chance to make a good first impression on the judge. Before the judge hears your case or even knows your child’s name, he will form an opinion of you based on appearance. So talk with your lawyer about what to wear and make sure you present yourself in the very best light at your child custody hearing.