What to Expect From a Child Custody Hearing

October 8, 2010 by Maricopa County Court  
Filed under Child Custody

By Brandon Brewer -

Most people who go through a child custody battle are not sure what to expect from the court system. Even having an experienced lawyer does not always reduce the anxiety that parents tend to experience in this situation. But by knowing what the courts expect at your custody hearing, you can make sure you are prepared to present the best case. Here are some basic considerations the court will examine during your hearing.

Your Home

The judge will examine each of the parent’s living situations. Some of the factors that are discussed are safety, proximity to resources, size, and features. Ideally, you would have a home in a safe neighborhood that offers easy access to schools, health care, and relevant shopping outlets. The size of your home is figured into how many people live there and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms available.

Continuance

The goal of any child custody case is to provide the best situation for the child. This includes factoring in the transitional period for them. The custody judge is looking for a stable environment where the child will be afforded the best opportunity to adjust to the family changes. This means that preference will be given to the home which does not involve the child changing schools, friends, or other social circles.

Your Schedule

The custodial parent inherits a significant responsibility in providing emotional support for the child. This means that your work schedule should have plenty of accessibility and flexibility to care for your youngster. The court system will measure the amount of time you have available for family interaction. If your current schedule is hectic enough to raise concern, than you should have a detailed strategy for how you plan to make more time if you win custody.

Child Preference

Consider your child’s preference for custodial guardianship to be the “X factor” in a child custody hearing. The ultimate role of the court is to ensure the best overall living situation first, followed by extraneous factors such as preference. However, if all other aspects of the case fail to produce a clear winner, than the child’s preference will likely push one side over the top.

Understanding the considerations of a child custody hearing is an important part of preparation. By recognizing the factors that determine your eligibility for custody, you can eliminate potential negatives before they hurt your case. The key is to position yourself to provide the best environment for your child’s development, coupled with the least amount of stress for their transition.

The most successful custody appeals happen when the parent takes full control of the process. You should never rely solely on a lawyer to win your case for you. Visit ObtainCustody.com for more resources on how to win child custody.

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