When parents separate, it is not uncommon for both parents to want sole custody of children, igniting a custody battle. Child custody hearings can be intimidating for parents and children alike. However, thorough preparation can increase parents' odds of winning a case. The following tips may be helpful for Arizona parents who are preparing for their first child custody hearing.
It's always helpful to have an idea of what to expect, so parents should know that custody cases are not heard before a jury. Instead, a judge will likely make an immediate decision. When requesting sole or primary custody, the better-parent standard will come into play, which means the judge needs to be convinced who is the better parent. To prepare for this, parents should find out what courts are looking for and display why they're the best caregiver.
To most people, first impressions are everything, and parents vying for custody only get one chance to make a positive impression. Proper attire is a big deal and should never be overlooked. By dressing formally and conservatively, parents can send the message that they are responsible adults. Proper courtroom etiquette goes hand in hand with this. Parents should discuss courtroom etiquette with a lawyer beforehand to gain an understanding of expectations.
Parents should always keep the best interests of the children in mind and consider how every decision will affect their children. For Arizona parents who have questions regarding child custody, one of the most important things to do is to obtain the services of an experienced legal representative. A knowledgeable attorney can provide much-needed guidance throughout this often confusing process.