A Michigan parent may be nervous if they have to attend a child custody hearing for the first time. However, if they plan well, they can present a convincing case to the court and possibly get a successful outcome.
One of the most important steps in having a successful child custody case is learning about the state laws for child custody, specifically the laws of the state in which the custody hearing will be arranged. Before the hearing, parents should be aware of the issues they may face.
If sole custody is requested, parents need to be aware of the better-parent standard that will be used by the court. The court must be convinced that one parent is more favorable than the other, something that can be hard to prove. In preparation for the child custody hearing, parents should research to determine what factors the courts in their state will be examining when applying the better-parent standard. Furthermore, a parent should consult with an attorney about what should be done to present themselves in the best light to the court.
It's also wise to get legal help when determining which documents should be brought to the hearing. Some documents that may be recommended include proof of child support payments, a detailed phone log and an annotated visitation schedule.
A family law attorney can work to protect the rights of a parent who has unresolved child custody legal issues. Legal counsel may advocate on behalf of a parent at child custody hearings or litigate to obtain the desired custody terms. The attorney may also seek criminal charges if certain terms of a custody order are violated.