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Understanding what courts consider in custody hearings

Most parents want to spend as much of their time with their children as possible. The same is true for divorcing couples.

You may feel shocked to learn that what you believe makes you the best parent for your children to live with could differ from what a court decides.

Prepare yourself and documentation

Each parent shares relevant documentation with the court. These documents can consist of phone logs, visitation logs, observations of interactions between the kids and other parent and observations of the children’s physical and mental health. Further, the court may allow each party to present witnesses to credit examples of your parenting skills.

Your behavior and appearance in court are also considered. The judge notes everything from your attitude and demeanor to the way you dress for appearances in court when making a decision.

Understand the court’s perspective

Although you feel you are far more qualified than your co-parent to have custody of your children, the court may not see things the same way. The judge’s interest is not to help either party “win,” but rather to rule for what is most desirable for the children involved in the case. This can misalign with what one or both parents believe is beneficial to their offspring. Parents may find this frustrating, but the laws serve and protect the interests of children, not their caretakers.

Custody court cases are stressful and difficult for everyone involved, especially the kids. Remember that your children’s well-being is the most important thing as you navigate this tough time in your life.

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