6 Steps to Prepare for a Child Custody Battle
The thought of preparing for and attending your first child-custody hearing can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the process. However, with preparation, and the following six steps, you can present a convincing case, ease your worries, and have a better chance of winning child custody.
- Hire a child-custody lawyer – Understand your specific state’s child-custody laws since they vary by state and choose an attorney who specializes in the field. Discount Legal Plan provides you access to a nationwide network of affordable Child Custody attorneys. If you’re concerned about the cost of attorneys then you’re not alone. Many parents are forced to stop fighting for custody because of the high costs of legal fees. However, as a member of Discount Legal Plan, you are able to make affordable monthly payments instead of paying a large, upfront fee to your attorney—meaning you can keep fighting for your child. We are here to help keep your family together so that your child can reach their fullest potential. Now that you know how to afford an attorney and stay within your budget, you need to start researching.
- Research and prepare questions – Prepare a detailed list of questions to ask your lawyer as your court date approaches. To create your list of questions, it helps to refer to your local state government legal website or court website to view the child custody laws.
- Study and understand the better-parent standard – If requesting sole custody, you must convince the judge that you are better suited as a parent than the other option. Sole custody is challenging to prove, so ask your lawyer how you can prove yourself to be the best caregiver for your child or children.
- Prepare the correct documents – Work with your attorney to determine what documents to bring to your scheduled hearing. Also, check to see if your records will be admissible. Some examples may be proof of child-support payments, detailed phone logs, or visitation schedules.
- Roleplay and learn courtroom etiquette – Work with your lawyer to better understand expectations and potential pitfalls. Roleplay with your lawyer and be sure to avoid accusatory statements and emotional outbursts.
- Dress like a responsible parent – Wear formal, conservative clothing that conveys your parental abilities and makes a great first impression. You only have one chance to make your first mark. Speak with your attorney for wardrobe ideas that are suitable and will portray your best self.
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