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Preparing for a custody hearing: What single parents should know

Any parent who is anticipating a child custody hearing knows how nerve-wracking it can be. The results of your hearing will affect the lives of you, your former partner and your child for potentially several years. It is only common for single parents to be nervous before their custody hearing.

It is common for single parents to be nervous before their custody hearing. One way to manage your nerves is to make sure you are prepared for your court appearance. Being adequately prepared for your court appearance can play a major role in the court’s custody decision. You may not be able to control the outcome, but being prepared can help.

Learn about custody laws

One of the first steps is to research the child custody process in Connecticut, including child custody laws and the court’s standards for reaching a custody decision. Your attorney can also provide detailed information about the nuances of Connecticut’s child custody laws and how they may affect your case. Having a solid grasp of the law will empower you when you walk into court for your hearing. The more you understand these laws, the better prepared you will be for your custody case.

Bring the right documents

At your custody hearing, you need to have absolutely everything that you need to present your case. Coming to court empty-handed will definitely not endear you to the judge. Before your case, gather all of the documents that you may need in court. These may include financial records, phone logs or emails, a visitation schedule and proof of child support payments.

Follow courtroom etiquette

How you behave in court can play a major role in a judge’s decision. You will want to present yourself in the best light possible. Brush up on courtroom etiquette so that you know how to behave in court. Your courtroom attire should be clean and professional; designer labels and flashy jewelry are not necessary. Refrain from any emotional outbursts—especially if you are prone to anger. Even if your temper runs high during the custody hearing, keep your demeanor calm.

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