Child Custody & Visitation
What Should I Expect in a Child Custody Case?

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What Should I Expect in a Child Custody Case?

April 22 2023
By Virginia Family Law Center

Divorces can be complex. They encompass many factors, such as property division, alimony, child support, and child custody. Of those, child custody can be the most contentious one to deal with. Sadly, children are often used as pawns in a divorce. One parent may pit the children against the other parent, causing parental alienation and other effects.

It can be hard for parents to agree on child custody. Because of this, many cases go to court. Having to deal with this topic in court can be a frightening experience, especially if you have never been to court. The good thing is that your lawyer can help you prepare. Here is what to expect in a child custody case. 

Be Prepared

Just like anything else, preparation is key in court. There are several things you’ll need to have ready:

  • Your outfit. You need to impress the court and show them that you are a responsible person. This means leaving the tank tops and ripped jeans at home and wearing a dress or slacks with a formal, conservative top. Keep your hairstyle and makeup conservative as well — nothing too crazy.
  • Answers to possible questions. Think about what the judge will ask you. Questions about daycare and sleeping arrangements may pop up. The court will want to know about your finances and ability to parent. 
  • Your arguments. If you have a lawyer, they can help with this. They will help you think about important topics, such as providing living arrangements for your child and your ability to financially support your child, especially if your employment history has been spotty. 

Understand the Setting

Court cases in a movie may seem intimidating, but a real court case is not as large. Family law cases are not as adversarial, so the setting is much smaller. Only a few people will be in the courtroom.

Do Not Expect to Get a Lot of Time

Family law judges see many court cases on a daily basis. Because of this, time is limited, so do not expect your case to take hours. You will not get long to prove your case, so work with your lawyer on being short and sweet. Being concise will go a long way in a child custody case.

Do Expect an Immediate Decision

After you and the other parent have presented your cases in court, the judge will render their decision right away. This is good news, especially if you are impatient and do not like to wait. The judge will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. While many cases receive an immediate decision, there are some cases where the judge will want to review the case further and make a ruling at a later period. 

Contact Us Today

Nobody wants to go to court, but you may have to in order to determine custody of your child. By knowing what to expect, you can feel more relaxed about the process. 

Count on the team at Virginia Family Law Center to help you prepare for your custody case. We have more than 30 years of legal experience, so you can trust us to resolve your family law concerns. Schedule a telephone consultation today. Call (703) 865-5839 or fill out the online form.

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