When full custody is awarded during a divorce, one parent will be afforded sole legal and physical custody of a child. Because many courts prefer to award joint custody, as it’s thought to be in the best interest of the child, it’s important for parents filing for sole custody to be properly prepared for their hearing. Very Well Family offers the following advice to ensure parents are well-prepared.
Keep your emotions in check
Child custody disputes can be emotionally trying for all involved. As a result, some parents may experience raging emotions during the process, including anger and frustration. No matter how you feel in court, you must keep your emotions in check. Emotional outbursts will call your parenting fitness into question and make the judge doubt your ability to properly raise your child. Maintain a calm and collected manner at all times. Also, consult with your attorney about proper conduct in court.
While your appearance shouldn’t make a difference when it comes to parental ability, the judge is less likely to award sole custody to a parent who is dressed inappropriately at court. Casual dress, revealing clothing, or a sloppy appearance will speak negatively to your character, no matter what type of person you actually are. Dress the same way you would for a job interview to make the best impression.
Express your reasons for filing
Take some time to arrange the reasons you’re requesting sole custody in a reasonable manner. For instance, you may be concerned about the other parent’s substance abuse history. You might also have concerns about their living conditions or parental ability, especially if there is a history of child neglect. Be ready to express these reasons in a clear and concise manner, while also providing backing information when applicable.