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What To Expect During A Child Custody Hearing

We understand that going to court for child custody is a very stressful event for the parents or guardians involved. Knowing what to expect can help ease the stress and make sure you are prepared.

Custody Arrangement Decision

The point of a hearing is for the judge to decide on the custody arrangement. In most cases (but not all), the judge will designate a Custodial Parent/Guardian and a Non-Custodial Parent/Guardian.

The Custodial Parent/Guardian will be the parent/guardian the child will live for a majority of the time. A Visitation Schedule will be set up for the Non-Custodial Parent/Guardian.

Factors Impacting The Decision

The judge’s decision is based on what is in the best interest of the child. This is determined by a few factors, including:

  • Direct Questions: Always be sure to give clear, truthful answers.
  • Parent/Guardian History: The judge will look at background information including which parent/guardian has been caring for the child most often, history of domestic violence or substance abuse, and any other safety concerns. If you have previous drug or violence issues, be prepared to answer questions about those instances.
  • Testimonies: The following parties will typically speak at a hearing: Parents, Child, Witnesses (Social Workers, School Officials, Etc.).

Small Setting

In most cases, family court hearings are held in a small courtroom with very few people.

If you feel you need a child custody attorney, please contact us today!

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