If you are an Arizona parent who is about to go through a child custody hearing, you may be feeling overwhelmed and scared. You may feel like any minor mistake could result in you losing custody of your child. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your hearing and increase the chances of getting the outcome you want.
Gather all the necessary documents
One of the most important documents you will need is the child’s birth certificate. You should also bring any other important legal documents, such as a child custody agreement or divorce decree.
If there is any kind of domestic violence in your history, be sure to bring police reports or any other documentation that can help your case.
Prepare your argument
You will need to convince the judge that you are the better parent and that your child should be in your custody. For instance, if the other parent has a history of drug abuse or violence, be sure to mention this.
If you have a strong relationship with your child, be sure to talk about this as well. The goal is to show that you are the better option for your child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. You will need to be clear, concise and persuasive in your argument. Be sure to practice beforehand so that you are confident and prepared when it’s time to speak.
Understand the process
It’s important to understand how child custody hearings work so that you know what to expect. The hearing will begin with each parent making their case. After that, the judge may ask questions of both parents and may also speak to the child.
The child’s preference may be taken into account, but it is not the most important factor. The judge will ultimately make the decision based on what they believe is in the child’s best interests.
To determine who gets child custody, the court will look at a variety of factors, such as the child’s preference, each parent’s relationship with the child and each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional and mental needs. It is important to be prepared before going into a child custody hearing so that you can give yourself the best chance possible of getting the outcome you want.