Your child custody hearing is an important day. Therefore, you need to be prepared before you arrive. As a parent in Florida who is concerned about their child’s future, you will need to be aware of the laws regarding custody, the evidence you need to prove your ability as a parent, your appearance and your behavior in court during the court hearing, as these can all have an impact on the outcome.
Types of custody to be awarded
Your child custody hearing will result in the judge deciding your child’s custody. The judge will decide on legal and physical custody. Legal custody is awarded to give power over major decisions affecting the child, such as medical and educational decisions. Physical custody is awarded to determine where the child will live. The different ways custody might be awarded include:
- Parents sharing both legal and physical custody
- Parents sharing legal custody but one has physical custody and the other visitation rights
- One parent having both legal and physical custody and the other visitation rights
- One parent having sole legal and physical custody
Preparing for the court hearing
Before arriving for your court hearing, you should prepare to make the best impression and feel confident about the hearing. Your custody hearing preparation should include:
- Learning about the laws regarding custody by reading them and discussing them with your lawyer
- Gathering all supporting documents and evidence that might be required at court to prove your case in front of the judge
- Choosing professional clothes that demonstrate to the court that you take your parenting and the hearing seriously
- Practicing how to behave in the court by learning about the proper etiquette
- Becoming familiar with the custody hearing process
Your custody hearing will happen before a judge who will hear the case. The judge will also decide custody. If you disagree with the decision, you will be able to appeal. However, being prepared for the hearing might help you achieve your desired outcome.