When it comes to child custody, the court will decide what type of custody parents are awarded. The decision will be based on a number of factors, such as which parent had the most responsibility of the child throughout the marriage as well as the fitness to parent the child. Here are a few questions—and answers—that may help you as you prepare for an upcoming child custody hearing.
What Should You Know If You Must Go to Court for Your Case?
One of the most important things to be aware of is that the court decides custody on what is in the best interest of the child, and as a result, attorneys will use this standard as a basis when working out their legal strategy.
How Do You Gain Custody If You Lacked as a Parent in the Past?
First of all, everyone makes mistakes, but it doesn't mean that you can't learn from them and move forward. The best thing that you can do is to show that you have improved upon your circumstances and have established a better relationship with your child, which will help establish parental fitness in the eyes of the court. Some evidence of this may include doing homework together, spending more time with your child, taking your child to his or her doctor's appointments, engaging in extracurricular activities, etc. Ideally, you should show an interest in your child's day-to-day activities.
Who Could Your Witnesses Be If You Have to Go to Trial?
In the event that your custody case goes to trial, you may need witnesses, but who these witnesses will be will vary based on the reasons why you need them. For instance, if you previously were dealing with an alcohol or drug problem, you may consider witnesses who are able to truly testify that you successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program and that you have been sober or drug-free for a set period of time.
Will Your Child Have to Testify?
This just depends. Attorneys consider an assortment of factors, including the child's age, his or her emotional and mental state, the child's ability to understand the meaning of telling the truth, and more, before determining whether a child should testify in the courtroom. Some judges will allow questioning to take place in chambers, which takes off a lot of the pressure.
If you are in the middle of a custody battle, get a legal advocate on your side and contact a family lawyer today.