You may think that you have the hardest time dealing with a divorce, but that’s not true.
Your child faces an even harder time because he has to decide whether he gets to stay with his father or his mother, and that’s not a fair decision to take; certainly not at such a sensitive age.
This is why you must be sensitive to your child’s emotions while filing for a child custody case. You better be selfless and think about what is best for your child while filing the petition.
If possible, try to work things out with your ex and come to a settlement outside the court.
However, that’s not always an appropriate suggestion to work with. So, if you’re determined to file and prepare for a child custody case, we have shed light on that matter right here.
Let’s take a look:
How To File The Child Custody Case?
The child custody process may vary from one state to another, but the first step of this journey is filing a petition, and that’s constant no matter which state you reside in.
You have to file the petition to the local court. Your child must be a resident of that locality for the past 6 months.
Your Child Custody Lawyer Clayton MO will know the proper place to file the petition.
The petition must include both parents’ identification details, the child’s birth details, social security numbers, previous case information, proposed custody arrangement, details on the child’s custodial arrangements, and your request for court intervention.
You must bring the original petition and several copies to the local court. The clerk will collect a standard petition filing fee from you.
If you can’t afford the fee, you have to submit the fee-waiver form and let the judge decide if your payment will be waived.
How To Prepare For The Hearing?
- The first step to preparing for the child custody hearing is to know about the child custody laws. These laws vary from one state to another, and even if you don’t understand all the legal terminologies, your Child Custody Lawyer Clayton MO can help you.
- The second step is to familiarize yourself with the ‘Better-Parent-Standard.’ It’s a legal phenomenon that lets the judge consider which parent is better for the child’s upbringing. You can consult your lawyer to find out what your local court is looking for in a parent.
- The third step is to bring all the documents to the court responsibly. The judge will consider you irresponsible if you don’t bring all the documents, and it creates a negative impression. Some of the documents to bring to the court are annotated visitation schedules, child-support payments, detailed phone logs, etc.
- The fourth step is to learn proper courtroom etiquette. The court is no place for emotional overflow. Your Child Custody Lawyer Clayton MO can help you learn proper courtroom etiquette and pitfalls. If possible, do some role play with your lawyer beforehand so that you don’t break down in front of the prosecutor.
- The fifth step is to know what will happen during the child custody court case. Your case will not be heard by a jury, and the whole decision will lay upon the judge. The judge will take an immediate decision, but if that decision doesn’t go in your favour, you’ll have the authority to appeal the order.
- The final step is to dress appropriately for the hearing because this time, you must dress to impress the judge. You can’t show up to the courtroom dressing like a hippie because it portrays you as an incompetent parent and that’s not a good environment for a child to grow up in.
Filing and preparing for a child custody case is tough.
Parents already have a hard time figuring out their divorce and separation arrangements, and if they have to decide which one of them gets to have the final custody of the child, it simply adds fire to the fuel.
However, you must understand that it’s your child’s future you are talking about.
You don’t have anything to prove to your partner and take the decision of upbringing your child in a fit of stubbornness.
So just follow these steps and find out how to prepare for the court hearing and give it your best shot!
Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn