If you need to attend a child custody hearing in Texas, you may wonder what to expect. It is important to come prepared for the custody hearing because a judge will take into consideration your dress and conduct in the courtroom along with other information.
What to do and wear
There is no jury at a child custody hearing. Instead, you will appear before a judge, and you will probably get the judge’s response right away. However, you should familiarize yourself with Texas state laws concerning your issues. Think of conducting yourself in the same way that you would at a job interview, and dress appropriately. If you lose your temper or appear to be uncooperative with the other parent, it could hurt your chances for custody.
How to prepare
Your attorney will help you determine what documents you’ll need for the hearing, but they might include notes on time spent with your son or daughter and information about support payments. The court will attempt to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child. As in many other states, courts in Texas tend to operate from the assumption that a child might do best when parents share custody. If you are planning to argue for sole custody, you will have to provide compelling evidence showing that this would be best for the child.
There are other potential complications. For example, you might believe that the child is not safe with the other parent. If this is because of abuse or addiction, you will need to provide evidence such as police reports. However, it is important to distinguish this from simply having different parenting styles. In general, a family law court will be reluctant to separate a child from a parent as long as that parent is able to provide adequate care.