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Affiliated Attorneys, LLC Blog

Friday, October 12, 2018

Preparing for Your Child Custody Case

Your child is often the most important aspect of your life. That is why your child custody case is so critical. Your child custody hearing can determine how your child will be cared for and raised for years to come. It should not be taken lightly.

You know that you need to be prepared for your case, but you may be unsure what specific steps you should take to be as ready as you can be. Your family law attorney will be able to provide particular guidance for your unique set of circumstances. However, you can also use these general guidelines to point you in the right direction.

Understanding the “Better Parent” Standard

When one parent is seeking sole custody, the court will look to the “better parent standard” to determine whether sole custody is appropriate. This standard places the burden of proof on the parent seeking sole custody. This standard is much higher than if the other parent were requesting joint custody.

Essentially, the parent seeking sole custody must show that it would be in the best interests of the child to remain living with just one parent instead of both. In making this type of showing, one parent must prove that he or she is a better parent than the other. This showing often means that the child’s association with the other parent may be harmful to the child’s well-being.

Understanding what the other parent has to prove is an essential part of getting ready for your hearing. Keep in mind that if the other parent is seeking sole custody, he or she may make it a point to make you look bad in order to make themselves look better. Being mentally prepared for this type of argument is an integral part of getting ready for your hearing.

Gathering the Right Documents

Your attorney will help you decide what type of documents you should have available for review at your hearing. Evidence and information about your interactions with your child and the other parents’ involvement might be helpful. Phone logs, visitation schedules, and proof of child support payments may also be good documents to have on hand.

Generally, you should bring any evidence that you have that shows you are a good parent or that the other parent is a bad parent. Work with your attorney to determine what information is admissible and relevant. It is better to err on the side of having too much than not enough.

Learn What to Expect at Your Hearing

Child custody hearings are generally not as adversarial or combative than other types of cases, or even the court cases you see on television. There will be no jury; it will just be you, the other parent, and the judge, along with your respective attorneys. The judge is the ultimate decision maker in these types of cases, so it essential to be respectful and honest.

Your family law attorney will walk you through exactly what to expect at your hearing so you can be prepared.

 


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Serving Southeastern Wisconsin, with offices in Milwaukee and West Bend, Affliated Attorneys, LLC represent clients throughout Milwaukee County, Washington County, Waukesha County, Dodge County, Ozaukee County, Racine County, Sheboygan County, Jefferson County, Fond du Lac County and Walworth County.



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