Divorcing parents are encouraged to come up with a child custody arrangement on their own. But, this doesn’t work if one parent is unwilling to cooperate or compromise. If parents cannot come to a decision on their own, a judge will have the final say instead. The judge presiding over the case will need to ask both parents questions in order to learn more about their unique situation and determine what is best for the child. What information should you expect to provide? Here’s a look at some of the questions that often come up during a child custody hearing:
How would you describe your relationship with your ex-spouse?
Most of the time, the court believes that a joint custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child. But to make this arrangement work, the court must know about the relationship between the two parents. If one parent refuses to communicate with the other, this will make it nearly impossible for them to share custody of a child.
What are your current living arrangements?
The judge will not award custody to a parent that cannot provide a stable environment for the child. For this reason, the judge will most certainly ask the parent to describe his or her current living arrangements. Parents should be ready to talk about where they are living, if they are renters or owners, and whether or not they have roommates. If you are living in a small apartment with a roommate and your ex is living alone in a home, the judge may find that your spouse can provide a more stable home environment than you can.
What type of custody arrangement do you think is best for the child?
Each parent may be asked to discuss what type of custody arrangement he or she thinks is best for the child. Ideally, both parents would tell the judge that they want a joint custody arrangement so the child can spend equal time with each parent. But, if one parent believes a sole custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, the judge will need to know why. Is the other parent drinking heavily or doing drugs? Do you suspect that he is mentally unfit to raise a child? Be prepared to provide evidence that shows why a sole custody arrangement is best for your child.
These are just a few of the questions that will be addressed during a child custody hearing. Parents may also be asked to talk about each other’s health, work schedules, financial stability, and relationship with the child. After gathering all of this information, the judge will always do what he believes is best for the child.
Parents who are filing for divorce need to hire a divorce attorney who has experience handling child custody disputes. The divorce attorneys at Adams Family Law have represented countless clients in child custody disputes and are known for always putting the child’s needs first. To schedule a consultation, call 513-929-9333 or email Steven@adamsfamilylaw.com.