The Child Custody Laws of Your State: It is extremely important to become well acquainted with the child custody laws specific to Virginia since they can differ from state to state. This can help you evaluate all the factors and what can contribute positively to the case and what can be damaging to your chances of getting custody. This would also help you prepare adequately yourself before the hearing.
The Better Parent Standard: This is considered in cases where a parent wants sole custody of the child. To determine which parent gets the custody, the judge has to assess, while keeping the best interests of the child in mind, which parent would be the better choice. In order to prepare for your hearing, it is necessary to be aware of the particular factors the judge takes into consideration while making the decision. Having knowledge about and being up to date with the laws in Virginia can help you formulate all the questions you need to ask your lawyer before going to court and consult him on how to demonstrate yourself as the parent who cares more about the child’s welfare and can take care of him better.
The Accurate Documents: Consult your lawyer regarding what documents you are supposed to take along to your hearing. Discuss with your attorney whether your personal records would be tolerable and whether they have the ability to affect your case negatively in any way. Make sure you don’t alter any information or don’t represent any inaccurate information the court to avoid further complications.
Courtroom Etiquette and Attire: Making a good first impression on the judge can help you in your hearing. Refer to your attorney to explain appropriate courtroom etiquette to you so you can behave accordingly, this will ensure that you are well aware of what is expected from you and thus you can dodge getting into complications. A constructive impression can also be established by wearing proper courtroom attire. Your appearance can affect judge’s opinion of you drastically so it is always advisable to present yourself in a way that is acceptable and impressive. Make sure you reach the court way earlier than the actual time as arriving late to the hearing can be destructive to your first impression.
Expectations: The jury is reserved for felony charges and child custody cases are dealt with by a judge who assesses the case and a child custody order is issued accordingly. You can petition the order but a jury will not assess it. Hearings for child custody cases are likely to comprise of less controversy or aggression than other court cases so parents should be well prepared with what they should expect so they are way ahead of each stage of the procedure. Role playing with your attorney can prove to be a way to prepare yourself before the hearing as it can assure that you are aware of court proceedings and the likely outcomes.