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YOU Frame the Arguments in Custody Court (NOT Your Spouse)

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...

A Parent with Mental Illness Can Affect a Child Custody Decision


The mental health of a parent can affect a child custody decision so it is very important to take steps to evaluate and make an accurate assessment.

Today I want to talk about mental health and how it comes into play in your child custody case, whether it be parenting time or decision making regarding joint or sole custody. One of the factors a judge looks at when making a decision about the best interests of the child is the mental, emotional and physical health of all of the parties including both parents and the child.

What I see in these cases is either one parent blowing the condition way out of proportion or not taking the mental health condition seriously as they should. This is hard to gauge if you are not a mental health professional. Even I as an attorney has trouble determining whether the parent has a mental condition or not.

The best way to provide evidence of a mental health issue is to get a hold of the medical records of the person who may be suffering from this....

What Happens if You Violate a Court Child Custody Order


If you have violated a child custody agreement or disobeyed a court order there are ways to remedy or at least help your case.

Violating a child custody order is serious business and it is essential to know what to expect and what is expected of you during your child custody case as well as your custody hearing.

So, what do you do if you have made a major mistake or messed up in some way regarding your custody case. First what are some examples of some scenarios which would not please the judge.

- Losing your cool with your ex-spouse in front of your child
- You Don’t follow through with a court order
- You have not followed up with a promise to your child or your ex-spouse or the court.

The first rule of thumb is not to blame anyone but yourself. You are the one responsible for your actions

Here are 4 things you can do when facing the judge at your custody hearing:

1. Be accountable. Admit to the judge you messed up.
2. Apologize to the court
3. Follow up with a statement about...

Parenting Time Agreement and Visitation Schedule


Train your mind to think & your mouth to speak when you go into court for your child custody decision making or parenting time hearing.

How to prepare for a child custody hearing is crucial when you are in a custody battle. If a mother and father have joint custody they must appear in court and the judge must rule on a parenting time schedule and calendar. Last week I was in court representing my client who was the mother in a hotly contested divorce & custody case regarding parenting time for 2 young children.

In preparing her case in the 2 weeks leading up to the hearing, I conditioned the Mother to think in terms of what is best for the children. The mother and father were trying to put together a parenting time schedule and each presented their own schedule. What I stressed to my client is that she needed to create a schedule that worked best for her children and not herself.

So instead of testifying how her proposed schedule was good because it worked around her...

Can A Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?


In this video I talk about how much weight does a a child's wishes play in a custody case. Can they choose which parent to live with once they reach a certain age?

This is one of most asked questions I receive as a divorce and custody attorney. Can a child choose custody?

Most people think that once a child reaches a certain age, say 12, 13, 14, 15 or 18 they can make that call, and that's just not the case. However, a child's wishes is one factor the judge will take a look at when deciding which parent will get full custody of the child.

But the child's wishes, alone, does not determine where the child lives. A judge is required to look at all of the other best interest factors and how they interplay with what the child wants.

So, how old does a child have to be before a judge will consider what the child wants. The answer is not a one size fits all answer. Really what the answer is when a child is a sufficient maturity to express what he or she wants. Different judges have...

Mother's Rights vs. Father's Rights


When it comes to deciding custody of a child there's an urban myth that we live in a mothers rights world, however I can tell you that is not the case.

Judges attitudes are becoming more progressive and what judges are now looking at is what is in the best interest of the children.

So if you are a mother who is fighting for custody of your child don’t get too overconfident and assume that since you are the mom the judge will award your custody or parenting time because that is not the case.

And if you are a father don’t automatically get discouraged and despair that since you are the father that you will not get custody or parenting time because that is not the case either.

Both mother and father still have to prove their case to the judge.

Don't Lose Custody Over a Lying Spouse


In a custody battle it doesn't really matter if what is being said about you is true or not; what matters is whether the court believes it's true.

He Said vs. She Said or it could be She Said vs. She Said or He Said vs. He Said. In these type of cases it really boils down to what person is saying vs. what the other person is saying during the custody hearing and who the judge or jury is going to believe.In a child custody battle there is the potential for un-truths. In every family law case that goes to trial credibility of that witness is the issue. So what credibility means is how reliable is each witness and there are a lot of things that the judge or trier of fact can look at when deciding whether or not to believe a witness.

Here is a list of some things the court will look at:

1. The person's manner when testifying meaning are they acting nervous, are they pausing a lot before answering certain questions? Do they start crying or are they sweating...These things can be...

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