If you are currently preparing for a child custody case, it can be an emotional and stressful time. Many couples who have divorced go through these kinds of court hearings when they're trying to determine how much custody each should have of their children. The judge who presides over these cases will need to ask a variety of questions in order to determine which parent should be granted full custody or simply to determine how the custody should be split. Here are just a few of the many questions you can expect to be asked when you attend one of these hearings.
What Type of Custody Are You Seeking?
Some parents want to gain full custody of their children, and if this is the case, the judge will certainly need to know why that is. They may want to know the specific circumstances for this request, such as the other parent not working or currently living in substandard conditions. You will need to be able to clearly present your case and provide evidence when possible. If the hearing is a joint custody case, the judge will simply ask both parents how they'd like the custody of the children to be divided and assist them in working out an official agreement.
Are Both Parents Communicating?
In order for children to be protected, it is important that both parents maintain some level of communication. For example, if a child gets sick and cannot return home when it's time for the other parent to pick them up, the parents should speak to each other about the situation. The judge will want to know if each parent is following through with their end of the bargain when it comes to getting custody. Without mature and regular communication between each parent, the child can suffer as as result, so this is crucial.
What Does the Child Want?
While smaller children will not understand the complexities of a custody situation, older preteens and teenagers will have a much better concept of what is going on. Depending on the local jurisdiction, some courts now allow children the age of 14 and older to tell the court which parent they'd prefer to stay with full time. Ultimately, children who are old enough to know what they want should be able to have some say in their living arrangements.
While it's always hopeful that custody situations go smoothly, it's best to be fully prepared by hiring a divorce attorney in order to ensure that the situation remains amicable for all. Contact a representative from the Cragun Law Firm or another in your area for further information.