When you file for custody, you want it to win. And that means preparing for everything in your capability to perfectly present your side of the story in the hope that the judge will make you the custodial parent. For most single mothers and fathers, child custody is the most important matter, and you want to win it in all possible way. But where do you start?
The following steps will help you get custody of your child:
1- Speak with a custody attorney
If you don’t hire a lawyer to get custody of your child, you will not be able to present your case powerfully. Hire an experienced custody attorney and discuss your case with him. Share each and every detail of your case, so he will able to craft design strategy accordingly.
2- Read the Child Custody Laws in Your State
To get custody of your child, you’ll need to educate yourself of the child custody laws in your state. This is important even if you have hired a lawyer. Make it a priority, and take the time to do your own investigation. Create a list of the questions you have and ask all the questions to your lawyer to make yourself educated. Make sure to get the answers to all your questions before your next child custody hearing.
3- Access Your State’s Online Custody Resources
Many states now mentioned all the law-related information, including the forms necessary to file for the case. Check the child custody details and prepare your documents based on the available information.
4- Fill All of the Necessary Forms Before You File for Custody
Carefully fill all the forms. You don’t want to create unnecessary delays by providing inadequate information. Take note of whether your state needs your application to be notarized as well. If it does, complete every segment except the signature and then visit your local Notary Public. Many bank branches give this service free of charge.
5- Prepare for Your Court Date
Prepare yourselves for court. The hearing will likely last 15-20 minutes, especially if it’s the first in a series of child custody hearings. So think thoughtfully about what you actually want to say, because you’ll only have a few minutes to share your point of view. Write down all the issues you want to address, and then precise it to present them point to point. Practice what you want to say.
6- Attend the Child Custody Hearing
Always attend the child custody hearing. You’d be surprised that many parents miss the actual court date or show up late. This will weaken your sid. Make sure you arrive early and make sure you dress professionally for your court hearing.
7- Present Your Case
Your time to speak in court will be limited. And because there’s no jury, you don’t have to worry about talking to a group of people. Try your best to stay relaxed and speak gently and calmly. Don’t allow yourself to be disturbed by anything that your ex states, either. Simply present the evidence of your case, as you know them. Also, remember to listen twice as much as you speak. Never interrupt the judge, and make sure you answer every question thoroughly.
8- Be Patient
This is the most challenging part. Many parents go into court assuming that the judge will announce a decision immediately, but in most cases, it takes several court hearings for the judge to make a final child custody decision. Be patient and trust that you’ve done all you can to get custody of your child.