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4 Ways to Prepare for Your Arizona Child Custody Case

Law Office of Tad Davis Oct. 20, 2017

Child custody battles can be brutal because they are emotionally draining for everyone involved. You want to present your best case possible so that you can continue to be in your child’s life. But how can you prepare for your hearing to get the best result possible for both you and your child?

  1. Work with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

The best and most effective way that you can prepare for your case is by pairing up with an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of Arizona child custody law. Although there are many helpful resources available to people representing themselves, including our firm’s blog, you are going to be limited by your own knowledge and experience when it comes to preparing your case by yourself. An experienced attorney has years of schooling and experienced that has taught them how to help you in your situation. It is not practical to make up for that type of experience by reading blogs online, looking for templates for pleadings, or by doing your own legal research. Do not risk your child custody case by trying to go it alone.

An attorney will be able to give you specific recommendations for your situation that will help you prepare for your case. The attorney will examine the facts of your case and design a strategy that highlights your case’s strengths. If you’d like to meet with the Law Office of Tad Davis to learn more about how you should prepare for your hearing please give us a call today.

  1. Behave Responsibly and Take Your Role as a Parent Seriously

Child custody proceedings focus on how you act as a parent. Any misstep or negative occurrence may be brought up at the child custody hearing. For example, you should avoid getting in legal or criminal trouble while your case is pending. You should also avoid getting into arguments and fights with the other parent. Screenshots of text message conversations aren’t great exhibits when it shows both parents trading insults back and forth.

The court will always consider what will be in the “best interests of the child” when making custody decisions. The court is far less likely to award custody to a parent that is irresponsible or has a recent criminal record. While you should always be on your best behavior around your children, it is especially important leading up to the child custody hearing.

  1. Keep Records on Your Interactions with Your Children

The judge will scrutinize your role as a parent in a child custody proceeding very carefully. How you show that you care for your kids will be extremely important. It may be a good idea to keep records of activities you are doing with your child on a regular basis. These may include:

  • Daily activities (to show continuing, consistent involvement)

  • School activities (parent-teacher meetings, school plays, sporting events, etc.)

  • Taking your child to the doctor or dentist

  • Involving your child in family and other social activities (groups like Girl Scouts, church activities, play dates, etc.)

  • Vacations or leisure outings with your children

The more involved you are in your child’s life with positive interactions, the more likely you are to have a favorable decision at your custody hearing.

  1. Know What to Expect During Your Hearing

Knowing what to expect at your child custody hearing will allow you to not only prepare adequately, but it will also decrease your stress levels before the trial. Child custody hearings are supposed to be tailored to a discussion of the child’s best interest which means that other evidence is likely to be excluded. The Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure are a helpful guide to knowing what will be expected of you in terms of preparing for and conducting a hearing on this issue.

When it comes time for your hearing know that you will not see a jury. Only a judge will decide these cases. That means that how you present your information and evidence will be different compared to other types of legal claims.

You should be prepared to enter your exhibits into evidence, ask any witnesses you call questions on direct examination, ask questions to the witnesses that the other parent might call in what is called cross examination, and be prepared to testify yourself if you have important testimony to share with the court making the decision.

These are just some of the ways that you can prepare for your Arizona child custody case. The Tad Davis Law Firm represents clients in child custody proceedings. Protect your and your children’s future. Call today for more information.