One of the scariest parts of divorce is battling for child custody. Numerous parents in Washington are aware of how nerve-racking their first child custody hearing can be. It can make all the difference, especially if either parent is vying for sole custody.
The good news is that there are numerous ways a parent can make their first custody hearing go smoothly. First of all, each parent should have a clear understanding of the state's child custody laws. In that same vein, parents should be aware of what the better-parent standard is and how it can affect their custody battle. If one parent requests sole custody, they must be able to prove that they are the better parent.
Aside from educating themselves, parents can do other things to improve their chances at court. For example, they can make sure to have all the necessary documents and bring them to the hearings. Additionally, by learning proper courtroom etiquette, parents can potentially place themselves on the judge's good side. Otherwise, any emotional outburst may cause the parents to lose custody.
Speaking of knowing what is expected of them, parents would do well to dress appropriately for the occasion. It might seem like a small matter, but first impressions are important. Parents should also be aware of what to expect during the custody hearing. This will help them to be prepared emotionally.
Obviously, a lot of these steps will be significantly easier if a parent has a good attorney in their corner. Legal counsel could prepare them by roleplaying, preparing the necessary documents and answering their questions. Therefore, someone fighting for custody might stand to gain from contacting an experienced attorney.