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What happens at a child custody hearing?

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2021 | Child Custody |

When a couple begins divorce proceedings, they may have hoped they could work out a number of important issues. One of those issues for parents in Virginia is regarding child custody. Most parents want to work out an arrangement to keep their kids out of the courtroom since it’s less stressful for them, but this isn’t always possible. If parents need to go to court to resolve this important issue, there are things for which they should prepare. 

What to expect in court 

Every child custody case is different because families are different. Here are some basics for parents to know before heading to court: 

  • The court will want to know what each parent expects — either sole or joint custody. A family court judge usually prefers a joint custody situation so the children can have a relationship with both parents. 
  • Are parents currently following some sort of custody arrangement? If so and it’s working, the judge may make it official. The judge will consider other arrangements if that’s not the case. 
  • No matter what kind of relationship the soon-to-be former spouses have, they will always be connected by their children. That means they will need to communicate, and the judge will want to know that parents can speak to each other about their children. 
  • A judge will need details about each person’s financial situation to make sure each can provide for the children’s needs. The judge also needs this information to determine child support. 

Knowing what to expect in a courtroom could go a long way in alleviating the stress that might accompany appearing before a Virginia family court judge. Being appropriately prepared for a child custody hearing might not only lessen stress levels, but it might also help a parent to answer a judge’s questions. A court appearance doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing if one is properly prepared.