How To Best Prepare Yourself For Going To Court
This is an issue that we’ve touched on before in previous posts but there’s no such thing as having too much information about family court and what’s involved in the whole process. If you’re like a lot of parents across America, you have no idea where to start with this. First off, it’s important to know for sure whether you even need to go to court or not. Check out our previous posts about what to consider when thinking about going to court over a custody or visitation issue. Once you’ve arrived at your decision, however, it can be difficult to know what to do, what to ask about and what first step you need to take to make that leap from just talking things over with your soon to be ex and standing in the court room hoping the judge rules in your favor. Here are some tips to prepare you for the family court process.
Hit The Ground Running. Momentum is a good thing in this situation, standing still and not doing anything may in fact make things worse and produce a lot of stress for you and your children, which should be avoided. The amount of work you need to do depends on the method in which you are going about this. Are you serving the other parent? Did you get served? Is your ex trying to leave the state with the kids? Are they refusing to bring the child back to your house? Have they hired a high powered attorney? The answer to these questions really determines what you need to do. If you’ve been served, it’s imperative that you respond in a timely manner. It’s never good to miss your court date or wait too long to file a response, that’s how people end up with court orders that don’t reflect what they feel needs to be happen. If you’re making the first move, and serving your ex with custody or divorce papers, make sure you have a good story to bring before the judge and have your argument backed up by physical documented evidence. So for example, if you’re going to tell the judge that you want full custody because the kids father stays out all night, brings home strangers and doesn’t provide a safe environment for the children, you need to be able to back up that claim in one form or another. Pictures, voice mails, testimony from your kids, emails; these are all things you can use as exhibits to back up your case.
Having the other parent threaten to leave the state with your child can be a scary thing, and we get a lot of parents calling in about this very issue. In some cases, this can be illegal on their part, but you need to get the problem in front of a judge before that happens. The other common issue is when parents flat out refuse to give the child back, which causes a frustrated and panicky parent to get on the phone to anyone that even looks like an attorney for help. In all of these examples, it’s important to keep in mind that the outcome really depends on what you can bring to the table. There are a lot of folks out that spend every dime they have fighting their ex for custody and end up in the same place they started. Taking the right steps and talking to the right people is of utmost importance when dealing with this kind of stuff or you’ll quickly find yourself rowing with only one paddle and going in circles.
Get started at –> www.AboutTheChildren.org