When parents in Nebraska do not reach an agreement for custody of their child, including a parenting plan or visitation schedule, they will need to go to a child custody hearing. During this hearing, each parent will present their side to the judge and usually, a decision on custody will be made by the end. It is important to go into court prepared for all aspects of the hearing, as they can all affect the outcome.
Visual impressions are important
When you go to court, you want to give the judge the best impression that you are a responsible adult who is ready to take care of your child. The way you look is one part of this, so dress in a conservative, professional manner that shows you are taking this process seriously.
Be ready with your arguments
As the child custody process begins, make sure you and your lawyer have carefully organized the arguments you will present to the judge. You need to be able to answer any questions that come up about your parenting. Questions can be related to and include:
- the physical home environment
- the bond between you and your child
- who will help you with childcare when you need to work
Evidence and witnesses can help your case
You also need to be prepared with the evidence to support the arguments you make and with the witnesses to corroborate your parenting skills. At the court hearing, you might bring close relatives who will be offering childcare, babysitters, teachers and therapists that can talk about your hard work and dedication as a parent. If your child is old enough, they might also speak in court about their preferences.
The court will consider all the above as well any other factors related to the best interests of the child when making their child custody decision. Being prepared shows the court how invested you are in the outcome.