Given the stakes, there are few things more stressful to any parent than preparing for a child custody hearing. Thankfully, these hearings have been done thousands of times before, and that’s great news, as it means that there are steps you can take to best prepare for these hearings in Delaware.
What are the best practices for preparing for these hearings?
Child custody hearings usually have a very set format. This means that there will be a set procedure that you follow. Above all else, make sure to follow the advice of your attorney. Odds are good that they will have gone through these hearings before and fully understand not only what is at stake, but how to best proceed. Additionally, your attorney may have been in front of the Judge you are appearing in front of on a previous date. That’s important, as it means that your attorney will likely understand what this particular Judge is looking for.
Other tips include:
- Do your homework, and make sure you understand Delaware child custody laws. This will help ensure that you aren’t surprised by anything that happens and can better advise your attorney about how the laws apply to your specific situation.
- Ensure that you understand how certain legal standards, such as the “better parent standard,” may apply to your specific situation. This is very important, particularly if you are applying for sole custody, as you will have to meet higher burdens of proof.
- Bring all documents and show them to your attorney ahead of time. Proper preparation is key, particularly if you are making allegations that one parent is unfit.
- Talk with your attorney about what to expect. This includes making sure you have a proper understanding of courtroom procedures.
Child custody hearings can be frightening, but thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can prepare for them.