If you have gotten divorced and there are children involved, you might feel stressed out and worried that your children are going to be taken away from you and you're not going to be able to see them anymore. This can be trying at the best of times. However, you need to make sure that you appear calm, cool, and collected in court during your custody hearing. Here are some tips for improving your chances of doing well at this hearing.
1. Write a Clear Parenting Plan
The first thing that you want to do is write out your best case scenario for the amount of time you get to spend with your children after the divorce. If the best case scenario is having full custody of your kids, you are going to want to make sure that you write this out, as well as a rough daily schedule of what their days would look like with you for an entire week. This will allow you to show the courts that you are committed to making sure that your children are safe and well-cared for and that you have thought out, in advance, exactly how you are going to do this.
Anticipate any questions that you might be asked by the court or by your ex-spouse's lawyers, such as where the children are going to sleep if you live in a one-bedroom apartment. You can answer this question by having a plan to move into a larger space, refit your current space to hold enough beds for each child, or some other contingency plan. Cover all aspects of a daily schedule such as who is going to pick up the kids from school, what hours you are going to be spending with them, when you are going to be making healthy meals, and who will be able to watch them in the case of an emergency.
2. Make a Record of Your Past Activity in Your Child's Life
Try to remember the dates and times of every event that you have attended with regards to your child. You want to be able to prove that you know the ins and outs of your child's teachers, his or her activities, and his or her medical history. Make a list of every doctor's appointment, soccer game, recital, and teacher-parent meeting that you have attended to show that you are the one that is best suited to take over the full role of making sure that all of these activities continue to happen.
3. Make a List of Witnesses
Finally, make a list of witnesses that can be called on to testify that you have behaved honorably and been fully involved in your children's lives. They will be able to help strengthen your case.
For more information, talk to a law firm that specializes in family law, such as Olschewski Davie Barristers & Solicitors.