How to Prepare for a Texas Child Custody Hearing
A divorce can be an emotionally overwhelming situation, especially when children are involved. If you and your spouse are fighting for the custody of your kids, a child custody hearing will eventually occur.
Although emotions may run extremely high, it is imperative to show the court that you are a responsible and engaged parent by preparing a convincing case to win child custody. Furthermore, working with an experienced family law attorney can increase your chances of success.
The following are several steps to take to prepare for your child custody hearing in Texas:
- Hire a lawyer – Your attorney can protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. He/she can ensure you take the right steps to avoid making any mistakes that could jeopardize your custody rights.
- Get familiar with Texas child custody laws – To know what to expect when you step foot inside the courtroom, conduct research on the child custody laws in Texas. In addition, reading up on the state laws can help you create a list of questions to ask your lawyer.
- Try to work things out with your spouse – Did you know you could lose child custody rights if you are unwilling to cooperate with the other parent? While you and your spouse will no longer be husband and wife when the divorce is final, both of you will always be parents to your children. You need to show the court that you are willing to work together for the benefit of the kids.
- Gather supporting documentation – All custody proceedings start with submitting written documents to the court that outline your position and the type of order you request. Common examples of supporting documents include phone call logs between you and your children and between you and your spouse, a visitation schedule log, and your kids’ report cards and records that show how well they are doing while under your care.
- Request a custody evaluation – If you believe your spouse will attempt to present your home life in a negative light, you can request an in-home custody evaluation to prove that you should be your kids’ custodial parent. A trained professional will meet with your kids and visit both parents’ homes—on more than one occasion. The professional will report a custody recommendation back to the court.
- Learn what to expect during the hearing – Rather than presenting a case before a jury, child custody hearings are led by a judge, who will make a final decision and issue an order. Your attorney can help you learn the proper courtroom etiquette and what to wear to make a good first impression.
If you are facing a contentious child custody battle in Fort Worth, contact The Clark Law Firm today at (817) 435-4970 and request a free case evaluation.