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Headed for a child custody hearing? Be prepared

by | Sep 13, 2019 | Child Custody |

An often-unfortunate aspect of divorce is that it can spark disagreements between parents regarding the best interests of their children. Like most good parents in Arizona and beyond, you want what’s best for your kids and it’s understandable that you are confident in determining it. If your divorce is going to include child custody litigation, however, it likely means your ex disagrees with your assessment.

This means you will need to convince the court in your favor. If you walk into the courtroom without having prepared at all ahead of time, you’re at risk for disaster. Especially if the co-parent involved took time to research state laws and to plan a strategy. Basic knowledge, knowing what to expect and a strong support network are key factors toward success in child custody proceedings.

Speak to someone well versed in Arizona law

While you can tap into online resources or glean advice from a friend or family member who has gone through custody proceedings in this state, it’s also helpful to discuss your particular situation with someone who is educated in family law issues and well versed on the topic of custody issues.

Proving you’re the better parent isn’t gloating

If your ex is requesting sole custody of the kids, you’ll need to convince the court that it’s not in your children’s best interests. You’ll also need to back up your claim with evidence that you are the better parent for the job. Why would your children be better off living with you full time? The court will want to know.

Don’t let your ex ruffle your feathers

You might hear your former spouse say something that’s not true during a hearing, or perhaps bring up an issue or incident that evokes strong emotion in you. Whatever you do, avoid angry outbursts or spontaneous accusations in the courtroom. Such behavior will definitely not cast a positive impression when your goal is to win the court’s favor.

Personal appearance is important

You might be a don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover type of person when it comes to styles of dress or general personal appearance. Like it or not, dressing appropriately in court is highly important if you hope to walk away with a victory. Business casual attire is always best.

Never hesitate to reach out for support

If you need to bring a particular matter to the court’s attention regarding your ex, such as the fact that you have evidence that he or she has a substance abuse problem or is never home long enough to eat or shower much less take care of the children, there are proper ways to do so. Also, don’t feel that you must carry the full burden of litigation on your shoulders. It’s always better to enlist aid from others who can provide support rather than go it alone.