If you are headed to court over a custody issue, it is important to make a good impression on the court, whether it is your first time in front of the judge or the tenth time.
If you have a specific complaint about your co-parent’s abilities to be a good role model or their parenting skills in general, gather evidence to support your claims. But you need to do more than just show the judge that your co-parent has problems: You need to demonstrate that you are a responsible, reliable parent.
How to improve your standing in the eyes of the court
While evidence is important, so are appearances. To look your best in the eyes of the court, there are a few things you can do:
- Arrive on time for your hearing
- Come prepared, with organized documentation
- Do not interrupt or speak out of turn (even if your ex is lying)
- Address the judge politely and keep your voice level and calm
- Dress appropriately (business casual or better)
- Keep your emotions in check (no eye-rolls or loud sighs or expressions of contempt)
Remember, showing sympathy, compassion and grace to your ex will not hurt your case. In fact, it could convince a judge that you are open to helping your co-parent preserve their relationship with your child.
Do you have questions?
If you have questions or would like more information about child custody or other family law matters, contact an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.