There's nothing more important to parents than their kids – knowing they're safe and raising them to be happy children with a bright future. You want to be with them all the time to teach them, guide them and love them.
If you are no longer a couple with the other parent of your children, you will need to work out a custody arrangement with your ex that reflects where the children will live as well as how they will be raised. And if you can't do that amicably on your own, you will wind up in an Ohio courtroom in front of a judge. That can be a scary proposition with everything that is on the line.
Here are some tips as you prepare to go to court to determine child custody.
- Make sure your attorney has explained to you Ohio's custody laws. You need to be prepared so that you know just what you're facing in court.
- If you are requesting sole physical custody, ask your attorney what kind of documents and evidence you'll need to show the judge. What personal records should you have? Should you keep a journal? Should you be ready to show proof of child support payments?
- Ask your attorney to go over courtroom etiquette. A judge won't be impressed if you shout out in court or draw attention to yourself in any manner. Ask your attorney about role playing in advance of the hearing to see how you'd respond to tough or sensitive questions.
- Dress appropriately. You'll want to make a good impression on the judge, and the first impression always has to do with how you present yourself.
Ask your attorney for more fine-tuned advice that fits your exact situation and need. Your family law attorney is there to help you overcome all the hurtles and fears you face relating to your child custody hearing.