Child custody hearings can feel intimidating and scary, especially when it’s your first hearing. However, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Approximately 30% of couples in the process of divorce have children who are under the age of 18.
By working diligently with your child custody lawyers and child support attorney, and by planning in advance, you’ll be able to understand and prepare for your first custody hearing. Here are a few things you should know in advance of your hearing to improve your likelihood of getting child custody.
Have an understanding of your state’s child custody laws
Most laws vary by state, including child custody laws and child support laws. For this reason, it’s important to not only become accustomed to but to have a general understanding of the child custody laws in your state prior to the hearing.
It may seem like a job better left to your child custody lawyers, but it’s a good idea to know the basics of child custody law so you won’t feel in the dark during the process. Being informed will also help you ask your child custody lawyers the right questions at the right times both before and after your hearing.
Bring required and recommended documents to your case
Paperwork and proper documentation are always necessary to bring to a court hearing. Talk to your attorney for a more specific list of what documents you should have in advance and which you should bring to the hearing. Some of the most common paperwork that’s necessary for a child support hearing include:
- Phone call logs
- Visitation schedules
- Custody evaluations
- Your child’s or children’s schedules
- Paperwork in written form
Understand what your state is looking for in a better parent
In most child custody cases, the judge will be looking for factors that determine which parent is “better” for the child. This can be difficult to prove. However, in Pennsylvania courts, one factor that’s taken into account is a parent’s availability. Other factors include salary, criminal record, and DUI charges.
Parents in Pennsylvania no longer have to worry about gender being taken into consideration during these custody hearings. Judges aren’t allowed to base “better parent” judgment based on gender under 2011 statutes.
By keeping these factors in mind and by following court etiquette and dressing appropriate, you can make yourself that much more considerable for the “better parent” determination.
Child custody hearings can be nerve-wracking. However, with the right preparation and by working with the child custody lawyers Pennsylvania values, you can be sure to get a leg up in your case. Contact Blake and Schanbacher Law today for a consultation.