There are many steps you must take when preparing for a child custody hearing in New Haven. When you appear in court for the first time, you must have all the required paperwork and evidence to support your claim. The experienced custody attorneys at our firm can help you understand the legal process and guide you through all court proceedings.
There are some key documents parents must present at a custody hearing. First, the filing party will need to prove that the pleadings were served on the other party properly. Additionally, each person will need to present a birth certificate or an acknowledgment of paternity to prove that they are the child’s parents. A local attorney can help individuals obtain these crucial documents before their child custody hearing.
Before a court hearing, both parents must prepare clear arguments detailing why they believe they should have legal or physical custody. Legal custody is the ability to make major life decisions for the child. If an individual is seeking sole legal custody, they will need to gather evidence proving that it is in the child’s best interest. Typically, this involves establishing how it would be detrimental to the child for the other parent to have legal custody.
Additionally, parents requesting primary physical custody will need to collect evidence that supports their belief that it is appropriate for the child to live primarily with them. They will also need to prepare a proposed visitation schedule or parenting plan to be incorporated into the final court order. When formulating one’s argument for sole or primary custody, parents should gather any evidence of the other parent’s concerning behaviors, such as documents, pictures, text messages, or voicemails.
If a parent believes a third-party recommendation would help the judge make a more accurate decision regarding custody, they will need to request the evaluation before the court hearing. The guardian ad litem or family relations officer will make a recommendation based on any information they receive from the child’s school counselors, teachers, therapists, or doctors. This third-party evaluator will also speak directly with the child about their parents and living situation.
Parents might also wish to gather the names and contact information of other individuals who have a relationship with the child and can speak on what is in their best interest. A diligent lawyer can aid parents in the process of requesting third-party evaluations and subpoenaing witnesses for a child custody hearing.
Going through a custody hearing can be an overwhelming experience for the child and both their parents. Although everyone wants the best for their child, the reality is parents often disagree on what that is.
Our team of lawyers can assist you with preparing for a child custody in New Haven and set you up for success. Please reach out to our firm to schedule a consultation and begin working on your case.