Getting a divorce becomes even more difficult when you have a child. A child custody hearing can be the scariest day of your life. Nobody wants to lose their kid to their ex-spouse. While it is hard for parents, it is not easy for kids either. Your child has always grown up with their mom and dad, and not having one of them around can be difficult to accept.
Fortunately, with a little advance planning, you can prepare yourself for the day. This is even more important when you are unfamiliar with the process and are dealing with the legalities of divorce for the first time. Additionally, you should work with a Delaware divorce attorney to strengthen your case and increase your chances of winning.
Tips on preparing for a child custody hearing
- Learn about your state’s child custody laws.
In the United States, not one law works for everyone. Every state has different laws for different categories, including divorce and child custody. Therefore, the first thing you should do is make yourself aware of the laws as well as your rights. It is recommended to read the fine print, which can be tedious but rewarding since you do not want to walk into the courtroom unprepared. Consulting with an attorney will help you understand things in much simpler terms.
- Create a safe environment.
Having to prove to the court that you are a good and responsible parent can be annoying, especially when you have taken care of your child since birth. However, this is how the legal system works, and you cannot win unless you have evidence. You must create a safe environment for your child. This can mean protecting them from problematic people, spending quality time with them, and encouraging them to talk about their emotions.
- Understand the better-parent standard.
Understanding the better-parent standard is important if you are aiming for sole custody of your child. Judges usually award joint custody, which allows both parents to spend equal time with their child and the child to have the pleasure of growing up with both of their parents. However, if you believe your co-parenting is dangerous for your child’s physical, emotional, mental, or financial health, you may request sole custody.
Proving sole custody can be difficult because you are telling the court that you are a way better parent than your spouse. This usually requires solid evidence.