Attending a trial for child custody may seem daunting if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement about custody on your own. However, once you understand the process and prepare carefully, you should feel confident about presenting your case.
Consulting with an experienced child custody lawyer can help you with your preparation. Besides having thorough knowledge of state family law, your lawyer is likely familiar with the local court system and the judge or magistrate who may be hearing your case.
Proving Your Case
The court will be looking to award custody based on the best interest of the child. If you are intent on winning sole custody, you will have to show clearly that you are the better choice. To that end, it will be essential to provide proof of this to the court by documenting everything that you do as a parent with your child. This includes school and extracurricular activities, doctor’s appointments, religious and family activities, and vacations and outings. You can provide records of these activities, photos, and witness accounts from teachers, doctors, relatives, neighbors, friends, and child-care workers.
By the same token, if you feel your spouse has issues affecting their fitness as a parent, you will need to provide documentation of these as well to bolster your case for custody. This could include records or photos of any instances of domestic violence, DUI convictions, failure to pay child support, interference with visitation times, or evidence of mental health issues. If your ex’s work schedule does not allow for significant quality time with the children, provide documentation of that as well. Make note of any references the children may have made about inappropriate or neglectful behavior, including co-habitation with a new partner.
Until custody is settled, your own conduct is paramount to your success. Be cautious about using alcohol in front of your child and never use drugs unless prescribed by a physician. Now is not the time to start a new relationship and do not introduce a new boyfriend or girlfriend into your child’s life during the case. Be on time for visits or pickups of your child and avoid rescheduling visits whenever possible.
How you present yourself to the court will make a difference in the outcome of your case. Be on time, come prepared with the right papers and documentation, dress appropriately, and use proper courtroom etiquette in your interactions with the judge. Except for extreme cases of unfit parenting, show a willingness to work with your ex in the interest of your children. Demonstrating clearly to the court that you are prepared to take the best care of your children can help you successfully resolve your custody case.
Baltimore County Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help You Prepare for Your Child Custody Case
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC we understand how stressful a child custody case can be and are here to help you achieve your goals. Start by calling 443-589-0150 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled and compassionate Baltimore County child custody lawyer. You can also complete our online contact form.
From our Hunt Valley and Towson offices we represent clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County, Maryland.