When a marriage dissolves among parents, it is not uncommon for both parents to want custody of the children. This is usually a recipe for lengthy, and sometimes ruthless, child custody battles. Although the parents often think they’re undergoing a custody battle for the well-being of the kids, in reality no one wins in a lengthy child custody hearing. Without question, a custody hearing can be daunting so it is always good to be prepared. Here’s a little advice for Illinois parents who suddenly find themselves in this type of situation.
In a sole custody hearing, the judge basically has to be convinced that one parent is better than the other, so the “better-parent” standard comes into play. If sole custody is desired, do research to find the exact criteria that the court is looking for. The parent must be ready to prove that he or she is the best caregiver for the children.
Proper courtroom etiquette is a necessity in any custody hearing. It can be helpful to discuss proper etiquette with a legal representative to gain a better understanding of what actions should be avoided in the courtroom. Although it is sometimes overlooked, appropriate courtroom attire can also play a big role. Judges often form an opinion of a parent based on his or her appearance, so be sure to dress appropriately and conservatively.
Remember, this is for the children and their well-being, so always keep the best interests of the children in mind. Child custody laws can be confusing and will vary depending on the state. Those in Illinois who have questions regarding any aspect of child custody can benefit by seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable and seasoned attorney.