How to Prepare for Your Child Custody Hearing

Child custody is not an easy issue for any parent to field their way through. The idea of not being able to see your children as frequently as you once did is undoubtedly heartbreaking and, given the emotionally charged nature of this matter, you might end up making impulsive decisions that harm your case. As you begin preparing for your child custody hearing, remember the best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to avoid any outbursts, especially in front of your children. No matter how frustrated you are with the situation, maintaining control of your emotions is crucial.

Preparing for Your Upcoming Hearing

Hiring an experienced child custody attorney is one of the most important steps you will take during this process, so do not assume legal assistance is unnecessary. An experienced attorney will help you keep a cool head and provide sound legal advice during a time when you might be tempted to react negatively to your spouse’s actions in court.

Below are some additional tips you should review as you prepare for your custody hearing:

  1. Do not discuss the details of the divorce with your kids: Although you must tell your children about the divorce, there is a difference between informing them of the coming changes and badmouthing your spouse. Do not make the mistake of confiding in your children or blaming the divorce on your spouse. Your spouse might use it against you in court and claim you are engaging in parental alienation. Being on your best behavior even when you are outside of court is a major part of preparing for your child custody hearing, so always watch what you say around your kids.
  1. Be an involved parent: Attend your children’s plays, games, parent-teacher meetings, and any other afterschool events. Showing that you are an involved parent is key to demonstrating your ability to support the best interests of your children.
  1. Be civil with your co-parent in and out of court: Most parents are aware that animosity in the courtroom will not help their case, but some forget to maintain civility when a judge is not looking. If you are at each other’s throats when you are not in court, a judge might hear about it and it will likely become a factor when he or she determines custody.
  1. Exhibit proper courtroom etiquette: You will only make a first impression once, so make it count. Your attorney will discuss proper courtroom etiquette with you, but it is up to you to put it into practice. Dress appropriately, avoid making accusatory statements, address the judge with respect, and do not interrupt those who are speaking.

If you are unclear about what to expect during your hearing, ask your attorney. You should walk into court feeling prepared and ready to protect your rights as a parent.

Discuss Your Custody Case with a Family Law Attorney Today!

If you are fighting for child custody, the team at Smith Law Offices, LLC has the skill and compassion necessary to help you achieve your goals. With more than two decades of combined experience on our side, you can feel confident in our ability to effectively represent you.

Contact us today at (636) 400-1177 to set up a consultation.

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