Preparing a Parenting Plan for Court: What To Expect

Attending your first child custody hearing can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Beyond preparing a parenting plan for court, many parents wonder what else they can do. Besides working closely with your attorney, there are several things you can do to prepare for that important day.

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Get Familiar With the Law. Learn as much as you can about the child custody laws in your state so you know what happens as your divorce goes through the system. It will also help you when preparing a parenting plan for court because you will have a good idea of what the judge likes to see in a well-written parenting plan.

Gather the Proper Paperwork. Your attorney can help you determine what papers you will need to bring with you. Common items include a parenting journal, documentation of children’s medical needs and statements from witnesses such as teachers or doctors. Many parents also find preparing a custody schedule for court valuable, especially if it demonstrates your ability to be open with the other parent’s visitations.

Polish Your Appearance and Etiquette. Review what type of behavior is expected in the courtroom. Practice delivering short but complete answers to questions. Make sure you are neatly groomed and that your clothes are tidy. Wear the type of clothing you would to a job interview or business meeting. Above all, keep your emotions under control and act professionally.

Know What to Expect. When you understand the process of a custody hearing, you’ll feel more confident in knowing what’s around the corner. Courtrooms are usually smaller than people expect and hearings are fairly short. During a hearing, the judge may ask you, the other parent, the attorneys and any witnesses to speak. The judge will render a decision based on the children’s best interests.

When you feel confident about attending your first custody hearing, you’ll be able to explain yourself well instead of freezing up. Spend the time preparing yourself so you’ll make the best impression and get your opinions concerning your children’s needs out there for discussion.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Schedule and Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Plan