The state of Washington is serious about child custody hearings. In all cases, the goal is to make decisions in the child’s best interest. This is something that parents in child custody battles should remember. If you’re preparing for a child custody hearing, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Learn the better-parent standard
Are you seeking sole custody of your child? The better-parent standard shows that you’re the best parent for the child. You don’t accomplish this by bashing the other parent in court. Instead, focus on why you’re the better parent and give examples of things you do to provide a stable positive life for the child.
Learn how to behave in court
Your behavior in court influences how you’re perceived. And you want to make a good impression in the courtroom. Emotional outbursts or bad-mouthing the other parent in court can hurt your case. If you have legal counsel, get guidance on the proper courtroom etiquette.
The way you dress in court matters. Wearing attire appropriate for the occasion influences how people see you. It gives the impression that you’re serious about the child custody hearing. Making a good first impression can prove beneficial to your child custody hearing.
Learn the local child custody laws
Child custody laws vary by state. Learn all you can about the laws in the state where your hearing is set to occur. For example, in Washington, the parent who doesn’t have custody is entitled to visitation rights. But exceptions to this rule are made in the case of domestic abuse, or the physical, emotional or sexual abuse of the child.
Going to court
A child custody hearing is often emotional. You may feel several emotions during the hearing, such as anxiety. Managing your emotions and keeping your child’s best interests paramount are critical at this time.