One of the most heavily contested issues in a divorce that involves children is, of course, child custody. Both parents believe they know what is best for them and will want to be able to spend as much time with their children as they can. However, there is only so much time each parent can have. If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute and are about to attend your first child custody hearing, you know how important this moment will be and that you ought to be prepared for it.
Below is a list of some tips on how you can prepare for this crucial court hearing:
- Understand the “better parent” standard: Remember, a judge will base his or her decision on what is in the best interests of the children. This means, as a parent, you need to prove that you will be the better emotional and financial provider for the child, among many other factors. In order to prove this, you will need witnesses to testify regarding which parent did what for the children prior to the split. Given that this is the most crucial element in your case, it is important that you have a thorough understanding of what is necessary to prove that you can best provide for your children.
- Demonstrate proper courtroom etiquette: This might not seem like a big deal, but do not overlook the importance of courtroom etiquette. Try to show up to court well-dressed and exercise proper manners. No, this will not be the decisive factor in your case, but this will make you look more polished and responsible. Going to court in a low-cut mini dress or in dirty jeans and a T-shirt will not do you any favors. Additionally, remember to only speak when you are spoken to and never interrupt the judge.
- Keep proper documentation: Part of being prepared also means having the proper documentation for your case. If you are serious about obtaining child custody, you need to show up with multiple copies of every exhibit and all of your papers should be organized. If you are missing key documents or simply do not have everything together, this will not help your child custody hearing go well.
- Parent communication: The court always prefers both parents to be involved in the lives of their children, assuming there are not serious issues involved, such as domestic violence. Therefore, if one parent appears to be more willing to communicate than the other, the court will likely favor him or her and believe that parent has the best interests of the children at heart. If you have been ignoring your spouse’s phone calls, texts, and emails regarding your children, the court will never believe that you would be willing to work together with your co-parent to care for your kids’ needs. You might not have good feelings about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, but this is about your children and doing what is best for them, so try to be cooperative and communicative.
Child Custody Attorney in Reno
If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, you need a skilled family law attorney on your side to assist you throughout this process and provide the strong legal guidance you need to ensure it goes smoothly. At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. in Reno, we provide strong and compassionate representation in child custody and visitation matters. You do not have to go through this difficult experience on your own.
Get started on your case today and contact our law firm at 775.284.8888 to speak with our knowledgeable child custody attorney.