Your Texas child custody hearing might be one of the most important appointments you keep. Because the judge will listen to each parent’s case and then make a decision and issue the custody order, it is very important to make a good first impression, be prepared to support your arguments and know how the process works.
Learn what to expect
The first step towards preparing your child custody hearing is to become knowledgeable about the process and the law. You need to know the steps as well as the types of documents you need to bring with you. Additionally, you should be aware of the way the judge expects you to act: maturely and calmly, demonstrating your commitment to protecting the best interests of your child. Reacting in a volatile way during court proceedings, for example, might make the judge look unfavorably towards you.
Collect documents and evidence to support your position
Once you understand the custody hearing process, you should begin preparing your case by gathering documents and evidence that can support your position. Some of the evidence you can gather includes:
- Your parenting plan
- A calendar with notes detailing exchanges, missed dates, and other important information
- Communication records between you and the child’s other parent
- The receipts from child support payments made
- The child’s school and medical records as well as any testimonies from teachers, coaches and other caretakers
- The custody evaluation, if one has been made
Practice for your court date
Finally, you should also practice how you will answer questions and provide information during the court date. The more knowledgeable and comfortable you are with court proceedings, the more confident you will be when you walk into the courtroom.
Your preparation is important. It can help you prevent making a mistake that can affect the outcome of your case.