Child Custody Lawyer in Houma
Protecting your Kids is Job Number 1
If circumstances change, any decision made (whether individually or by the courts) can be renegotiated. All custody agreements should be made with the child’s best interest in mind. This is a criteria used by all courts and is what most custody battles focus on. Unfortunately how this clause is applied can vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In addition to policies and treatment of custody disputes varying from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, they also continue to change and evolve. This can make a child custody battle very difficult to end with a favorable result if you aren’t properly prepared.
How to Prepare for a Child Custody Hearing
1. Understand Your State's Child-Custody Laws
Being familiar with your state’s child custody laws is an essential step in preparation for what’s to come. Reading the fine print will be tedious but it will help you know what you are up against. You will also have a better grasp of questions you need to ask your lawyer. This can also help you be prepared for the sometimes confusing ways that judges handle child custody and support cases.
2. Keep the Best Interests of Your Children in Mind
Courts are trying to find the truth in determining what is in your children’s best interest. Judges will ask questions geared towards that goal regardless of you or the other parent’s personal interests. Understanding this and having your attorney keep you focused on this goal should keep your compass pointed in the right direction. Sometimes parents get caught up in their own personal view that they lose sight of this. Courts generally look for that lack of focus. They want to see the selfless parent who puts their children’s interests above their own as an indication of good parenting.
3. Bring the Right Documents to Court
Discuss with your lawyer what documents you will need to bring for your child custody hearing and which of your personal documents will be admissible. Your child custody lawyer may suggest items such as a detailed phone log, annotated visitation schedule, proof of child-support payments, etc. Get these things together long in advance of your court date. You may have to request new copies from your bank or phone company.
4. Learn Proper Courtroom Etiquette
How you behave in court during a child custody hearing can play a major role for or against you. Pitfalls, such as emotional outbursts or accusatory statements, can be avoided by taking the time to roleplay with your child custody lawyer before hand. Discuss with them what will be expect of you during the hearing and how best to behave while in the courtroom. Discuss courtroom etiquette with your child custody lawyer beforehand and be sure you completely understand each detail.
5. Know What to Expect During the Hearing
It’s important to know exactly what’s going to take place during your child custody hearing. For instance, many people don’t realize that a child custody hearing is held solely before a judge. There is no jury. It’s even lesser known that the judge will often make an immediate decision and issue a child-custody order. Knowing exactly what to expect during your child custody hearing will reduce the amount of confusion, surprises, and stress and you get through the proceeding without getting overwhelmed.
6. Dress Appropriately
You will only have one chance to make a good first impression on the judge hearing your child custody case. Before they hear your case or even know your child’s name they will already have an opinion of you based on your appearance. Talk to your lawyer about what to wear. Show up well-groomed and wearing cleaned, ironed, professional conservative clothes. This will relay the message, “I’m a responsible adult.” Be respectful to the court and show your self in your best light.
Have questions about your custody hearing?
We can help you prepare to show the judge how great of a parent you really are.
Give us a call to set up a time to chat about your case with a Houma child custody attorney.