There are many considerations involved in preparing and presenting a case for child custody. In addition to procedural evidentiary rules that parties must follow, a successful case requires gathering necessary information and recommendations well in advance of the hearing date. This is important to ensure that the court has all the relevant evidence, witness lists, and proposed parenting plans.
If you are beginning proceedings for child custody, speak with a well-practiced attorney at our firm. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain factors in Hartford child custody cases that people unversed in family law may not be aware of.
The purpose of child support is to ensure that the child is cared for as part of the established custody arrangement. Typically, a judge is not going to award custody on the basis of financial ability. A difference in income between the two parties should not impact how custody is awarded.
However, where evidence is presented showing that a party does not have an appropriate home or means to care for the child, a hearing will be held wherein the judge will determine the physical custody arrangement that is ultimately in the child’s best interest. If one party is not capable of providing for the child even with the other party providing some support to supplement their financial circumstances, that factor will be taken into account.
The parties’ ability to communicate and co-parent will have a bearing on the ultimate child custody orders. When parties are able to communicate reasonably, there is less of a need for extremely detailed parenting plan orders.
However, if the parties are contentious and unable to get along, there may be more ground rules on how decisions are made, visitation exchanges are conducted, and holidays and vacations are spent. In these cases, a much more detailed set of provisions may be required for the parenting plan.
If a custody evaluation is required, the entire case could take at least three to four months. On top of that, any additional discovery or depositions will need to be conducted in advance of the hearing. Overall, the case could take anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more. The length of the hearing itself will depend on the number of witnesses, amount of evidence, and number of issues in the child custody case.
If there are several disputed issues between the parents as to the well-being of the child, the case may take longer to conclude. For instance, questions regarding the child’s education or health may require therapists, doctors, or teachers to provide input. Typically, a custody case will be shorter if the issues at hand do not require third-party professionals.
If a guardian ad litem is involved, they may decide that the child needs to have therapy sessions with a professional. This could further extend the case to allow for a certain number of sessions so that the guardian or evaluator has a recommendation from the therapist to add to their evaluation.
It is crucial for a party to present their best self to the court. A skilled lawyer can help a parent prepare a case that shows they are capable of caring for their child and committed to their child’s upbringing. Simple factors such as appearing in court on time, dressing appropriately, and addressing other people respectfully are important.
A local attorney can also help a person prepare for their child custody court hearing by going over important information and evidence beforehand. A person should be prepared to articulate why a particular arrangement serves their child’s best interests, as their testimony will be an important factor in their child custody case.
A seasoned lawyer can assist in identifying the crucial issues in a child custody case that need to be resolved. These hearings often involve procedural requirements and legal complexities, so it is important to consult a dedicated attorney on the various factors in Hartford child custody cases. Call our firm today to set up a consultation.