As a parent in New Jersey, it can be daunting when you have to attend a child custody hearing. You may be worried about what might happen and how it can affect your ability to have custody of your child. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it can be even more intimidating. These tips can help you prepare for the hearing.
Know the laws
Knowing the child custody laws in your state is the first step toward being prepared for a hearing. It might be dull, but it can help you to better understand what to expect during the process.
Get familiar with the better-parent standard
When one parent requests sole custody of the child, the better-parent standard is a factor. The judge must be convinced that the child would benefit from sole custody by one parent over the other. However, this is usually difficult to prove. You should provide any and all evidence that you would be the best caretaker for your child during the child custody hearing.
Bring all pertinent documentation
Consult with your attorney to determine all the documentation you must bring to the child custody hearing. You may be able to provide your own records as well. These can include your visitation schedule, proof of child support payments, and more.
Learn proper courtroom etiquette
It’s essential to behave with the proper courtroom etiquette during the hearing. You should dress appropriately know how and when to speak. Speak with your attorney before the hearing to get a better idea of what’s expected. Be aware that emotional outbursts and fighting should be avoided in court.
Know what to expect
It’s important to know what to expect during a child custody hearing. Your attorney can inform you of what you should expect and help you better prepare for every step. You will appear before a judge and have the right to appeal a custody order if you disagree with it.
Once you know what to expect at your child custody hearing, you’ll be better prepared for it. It can certainly make the process much easier.