What Can You Expect At A Child Custody Hearing?
Child custody hearings are one of the most emotionally challenging and the most intimidating hearings in a family law case. I provide this information in the hopes that I can alleviate some of that stress and anxiety that may come with custody hearings.
In custody matters, the judges primary concern is always the best interest of the child. It’s the court’s belief that it is in the best interest of the child to have a relationship with both parents. So for this reason, the courts begin each custody case with a desire to award the parties joint physical and joint legal custody.
As every case is unique, the courts will make the custody decision by looking at different factors, such as:
- The child’s age
- The child’s level of maturity
- The parents’ mental and physical status
- The ability of the parents to communicate with each other
- The lifestyle of the parents
To get even further clarification the judges may ask questions of you and your spouse, such as, the type of custody that you are currently implementing, why do you want the type of custody that you are asking, what your financial status is, what is your communication like with each other, who is more involved in the child’s daily activities, such as extra curricular activities or taking the child to and from school, helping with homework. The court may ask about any substances abuse that might be present with either party.
Finally, the judge might also ask for testimony from a third-party such as family, neighbors, school counselors, or possibly, child psychologists. So, remember, when it comes to custody hearings, unless both parties have an agreement, you will have to go before the judge and you possibly might have to go to trial for the judge to decide on what custody he or she will be awarding.
The most important thing that I can tell you about a custody hearing, is that unless both of you have an agreement as to the exact custody type and the visitation schedule I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney and possibly retain an attorney to help you through this process. If’ you’d like to discuss your specific situation further, do not hesitate to contact our office to set up a consultation. Our office can be reached at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.
For more information on Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, or other Family Law matters, be sure to check out our Family Law blog, Family Law Podcast, and Family Law TV playlist on Youtube.
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