If you are going to court over child custody proceedings, then you need to know what to expect. Your children rely on you understanding this process and being present in a timely manner. You want to represent yourself as professionally, and respectfully, as possible.

Most people who go to child custody hearings in family court work with an attorney who is helping them seek custody. Prior to court, you and your attorney will work on preparing arguments and getting ready to answer the court’s questions. You will also need to notify witnesses who are important to your case and be prepared to look the part of a responsible parent.

What should you expect in court?

Many people haven’t been to family court, so they don’t know what to expect when they arrive. Most family courts are smaller and more intimate than criminal courts or courts you’d see on television. In most cases, there are not many people in the court at the time of the hearing.

You should also expect the hearing to move quickly. Judges have to hear multiple cases in a day, so they will want to quickly understand the case and then work to resolve it in a way that benefits your children. Both you and the other party will speak, and the witnesses may speak as well. If your child is old enough, then they may be asked their opinion about custody, too.

Our site has more information on family court, child custody and what to do if you are going to go to court over custody.