Child Custody Modification Lawyer
Child custody battles can trigger many pent up emotions for both parents. The idea of potentially losing their child to the other parent, can be too agonizing to imagine. In the best case scenario, both parents are able to negotiate together and share custody of their child. When this isn’t possible, then each parent must appear on a scheduled date and time for a child custody hearing. It most cases, each parent hires an attorney for representation and help getting prepared for the hearing to come.
Q: Is it possible to represent myself in court?
A: To file child custody pro se, means you are representing yourself during the court hearing. It is generally not advisable to be your own counsel for such a legal proceeding. It may require insight and strategy from an experienced attorney to help you obtain the outcome you are hoping for. If you feel strongly about representing yourself, it is recommended you consult with an attorney beforehand, so you can complete the necessary paperwork to stand independently in court.
Q: What if I am terribly nervous about attending court?
A: Your relationship with your child is the most important factor during the child custody hearing. Court can make many parents really nervous, so don’t let your nerves get in the way of showing how much you care for and support your child. First impressions and appearances do matter, so dress the part, arrive on-time, and be professional when talking with the judge or your former partner.
Q: Can my former partner and I establish a child custody agreement together?
A: If things are reasonably amicable between you and your former partner, you can attend mediation to try and settle child custody yourselves. This can be a useful way for both parents to avoid the quickly accumulating costs associated with court. Additionally, this can be a much less stressful and quicker process, than if you were to have it handled by a family court judge. By negotiating together, it is more likely your wishes will be at least partially met.
Q: Is it necessary that I submit a parenting plan with the court?
A: The laws for child custody can vary based on the state the child lives in. Some states request a parenting plan, while other areas don’t. If you are unsure whether your state laws necessitates you submit this plan, talk with your attorney for more information. If you get along amicably with your former partner, you may want to create one anyways, as it forces you both to make thoughtful choices on how you are raising your child.
Q: Do allegations of domestic violence affect child custody outcomes?
A: This depends, as not all allegations of violence or mistreatment are true. Sometimes, one parent may wrongfully claim the other is abusive or a drug addict, as a strategy to win custody of the child. However, the judge is likely to evaluate the evidence brought against that parent for legitimacy first. A parent that has a history of being harmful to the other parent or child, is unlikely to be awarded custody. If you are concerned about allegations of domestic violence, speak with your child custody turns for advice on what to do.