Your child is the most important person in your life. Your spouse may have once held that position, but now that you are going through the divorce process, your child has likely become your greatest focus. While you may have initially wanted to come to child custody terms outside of the courtroom, you and your soon-to-be ex were unable to work together.
Facing child custody litigation can be frightening. You undoubtedly hoped to avoid it altogether, but after a continual inability to come to terms with the other parent, a court order has become your last resort. Of course, that does not mean that you do not feel apprehensive about the upcoming legal proceedings.
What steps could help your case?
By this point, you likely have a custody arrangement in mind. However, the final say will come from the judge involved with your case. With this person as decision-maker, you will need to present your case and hope that the judge sees your side. If you think this seems complex, you are not wrong. Fortunately, you could take action to help yourself deal with the situation. Some steps include:
- Know the law -- Child custody laws can have a tremendous impact on the outcomes of your case. Therefore, it would prove wise to understand these California laws to the best of your ability. Because they can seem complicated, it may help to have a professional legal advocate on your side.
- Have your documents and records -- In order to bolster your child custody presentation, you could benefit from having the correct documents and records in order. The exact information you need to bring may depend on your case, but could include information such as communications with the other parent, proposed visitation schedule and child support payment records.
- Understand the hearing process -- If you have never been to court, you may feel worried about what the process will entail. You may feel comforted to know that custody hearings do not involve juries, and if you do not agree with the judge's order, you could appeal the outcome. By knowing the steps of the process, you may feel better able to prepare for what is ahead.
Of course, you may feel the need to take additional action to prepare for your case. If having a strong plan moving forward will help you feel more at ease when the time for your child custody hearing arises, you may want to gain more information on your legal options and possible strategies.