Child Custody Court Information and Suggestions
When you have filed for custody of your child, you will need to make an appearance in family court–also called child custody court. Even if both parties agree on custody, most states still require custody orders to be awarded by the court.
If you have been able to work out custody arrangements in advance, you will be able to have the court affirm the arrangements. Child custody orders are the legal affirmation of your agreement. If at all possible, you should try to work out your custody arrangements together, rather than have the court decide them for you.
If you have been unable to work out a custody agreement on your own, consider child custody mediation. Even if you suspect that the other parent will not cooperate with the mediation process, it is good to attend. Attending mediation, even if a solution isn’t reached, will show the judge that the custody of your child is important to you, and that you have made every effort to work things out with your former spouse.
If mediation doesn’t work, you will need to participate in a court case to determine the custody of your child. If you do need to attend a trial, you should consider if you want to hire an attorney who is familiar with the laws of your local family court. Let your attorney know what custody settlement options would work for you. The more willing you are to be flexible, the more likely you are to get a solution that both parents can live with.
If you choose not to hire a lawyer, you should familiarize yourself with court procedure, and the child custody laws of your area.
Before your case begins, have some settlement ideas in mind, and choose some concessions you can make if you need to. Being fair and willing to compromise will help you get the best custody arrangement for your child.
You will likely have to testify on your own behalf, and will need to answer questions posed by your attorney and by the other attorney as well. Answer questions honestly, and remain calm, even if the questions seem inappropriate or difficult.
The judge’s job is to make a decision on the case once both parties have given the supporting evidence for their sides. Even if you have reached the point that you are in trail for custody, continue to try to settle, and come up with solutions.
Once you have either reached an agreement, or an agreement has been reached by a judge on your behalf, you will receive your child custody orders. Custody orders are awarded based on the best interests of the child or children in question. The best way to receive the child custody orders you want is to demonstrate that being placed with you is in your children’s best interest.