Facing a pending child custody case is stressful. No loving parent wants to lose time with their children. Knowing what to expect from the process will help you avoid critical missteps, reduce tension, and increase your likelihood of a favorable outcome. Here are a few tips on preparing for the case to help you get started.
A Guide to Getting Ready for Child Custody Cases
Maintain Your Priorities
Court proceedings can be lengthy, complex, and emotionally fraught, especially when there’s so much at stake. Don’t lose focus of what’s important: your children. Continue going to all their school events and sports practices, and remain civil during custody exchanges. Courteous interactions with your former spouse will limit your risk of contentious legal actions, keep your stress in check, and make a positive impression on your children.
To strengthen your petition, document every outing that you attend, especially if the kids are living with your ex most of the time. Similarly, keep receipts of any funds spent towards caring for your children. This will demonstrate a commitment to fostering your relationship with them. You’ll also show the judge that you’re not easily discouraged by any lingering animosity between you and their other parent.
Navigate the Proceedings
Custodial circumstances vary, but the court process is largely consistent. For example, in the state of Pennsylvania, every case starts with filing and serving a complaint. You’ll then receive a court date for a conciliation. During this meeting, you’ll have an opportunity to come to an agreement with the other party. If you and your former spouse can’t settle the matter, the case will proceed to trial. At the hearing, you and your former partner will each testify and present any evidence gathered. Each attorney will make closing remarks. Typically, the judge won’t issue an order at the hearing, but will instead draft a detailed arrangement after and send it to both lawyers for review.
If you need help with a looming custody battle, turn to Levy, Stieh, Gaughan & Baron PC. Practicing out of Milford, PA, this general practice law firm has been helping clients resolve complicated legal disputes for more than a decade. Their diligent attorneys understand how sensitive divorce and custody proceedings can be, and will advocate aggressively for your best interests. To view all the services they provide, visit their website. To schedule an initial consultation, call (570) 296-8844.