On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
The first child-custody hearing you go to can be frightening for parents unaware of the process. However, by planning ahead a little, you’ll have a better chance of presenting a convincing argument and winning custody of your child. In addition to listening to the advice of your Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney, you can follow these six tips to prepare for the custody hearing regarding your children.
Become Familiar With Florida State Child Custody Laws
Child custody laws are different in each state, so your first task is to understand the laws in your particular geographical area. Have your attorney help you with the tedious job of reading the law closely, so you’ll know what you’re up against before you enter a courtroom. By reading up on the fine print in your spare time, you’ll also have better questions to ask your lawyer while waiting for your court date.
Know What Documents to Bring to Court
Your Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney can help you determine what documents will be admissible at your child custody hearing. Your lawyer may suggest bringing an annotated visitation schedule, detailed phone log, proof of child-support payments, and other relevant notes.
Understand Sole Custody Requirements
When a parent requests sole custody, that’s when a better parent standard becomes important. This means you must convince the judge that you are better than your child’s other parent, which is no easy task. Ask your lawyer what the Florida courts want to see and about the best ways to prove yourself to be the better caregiver for your kids.
Study Proper Courtroom Etiquette
To have any hope of winning child custody, you must act appropriately in the courtroom. Your lawyer should be able to discuss courtroom etiquette with you so you’ll better understand what’s expected of you. They’ll also know what to look out for or avoid, such as accusatory statements or emotional outbursts. It may help to prepare by doing some roleplaying with your attorney, so you can make the best impression on the judge.
To be awarded custody, you must make a positive first impression on the judge. Many things are taken into consideration, including how you’re dressed. Before the judge even knows your child’s name, your appearance will inform his opinion of you. Ask your lawyer what the best attire is for a custody hearing, but generally, you should be wearing conservative, formal clothing that shows you to be a responsible adult and presents you in the best light.
Learn What to Expect in a Child Custody Hearing
Less combative or adversarial than other court case types, child custody hearings are in a league all their own. If you want to win custody of your child, it’s best to know in advance what to expect so you can anticipate each stage of the process. Something many people don’t know is that these hearings are determined by a judge and not a jury. Juries are solely for civil and criminal cases. After presenting your case, the judge will issue a child-custody order based on their immediate decision. You can appeal, but even that won’t be heard by a jury.
Going through a child custody battle is both stressful and painful. The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, .P.A., can ease the process. We have years of experience helping loving parents gain custody of their children. Call us today at 954-533-2756 and let us help solidify your family.