The thought of appearing at your custody court hearing can be terrifying when so much is on the line.
It has everything to do with the amount and quality of information you provide to the judge in your custody case. If you go into the courtroom terrified, unprepared, lack of confidence or on the defensive you will not be able to give the judge what he or she needs to hear to make the best decision for your child.
So the question is How do you go into the courtroom confident?
The most important thing you need to frame the case in the way that YOU think is best. You frame the arguments, don’t let the other side frame the arguments
How do I frame the case? This is what I do as a child custody attorney in preparing for trial. Early in the case I will decide which of the best interests factors apply to my client’s situation.
In most cases there will be overall about 7- 12 best interests factors that will apply in your case. Out of those there will be about 3 -5 that on your side will provide the most strongest and best information to either prove that best interest factor or disprove that best interest factor.
I will spend the majority of my time gathering up evidence and finding witnesses to testify that are going to support those 3- 5 best interest factors. I then frame the whole case around those factors.
I am not saying that you should ignore or not address all of the rest of the factors but spend most of the times that have best evidence or that matter most.
What not to do at your custody hearing. If you spend your time in court answering accusations or allegations that are put to you are allowing the other party to frame the case.
For example if you are accused of taking drugs you don’t want to leave unanswered questions in the mind of the judge so you must answer to all questions or fill in the blanks for the judge. Even if you are using drugs you can still answer honestly and tell the judge what you are doing to remedy it. You cannot ignore the big questions and if you do you are not giving the judge all they need to know to make best the best decisions for your children.
So again, choose the top 3-5 best interest factors that apply and that you have that provide the strongest and best information for your case.