5 Questions a Judge Might Ask During a Child Custody Hearing
If you and your ex cannot agree on a custody arrangement, your case may end up in front of a judge. During the ensuing proceedings, the judge will attempt to determine the best interests of the children by asking both parties a series of questions.
While there’s no way to guarantee a particular outcome for your case, you can strengthen your position by preparing your answers to the following questions and gathering any relevant supporting documents:
1. What Is Your Employment Situation?
Parents who aren’t gainfully employed aren’t necessarily barred from winning custody; however, if you don’t have a job, you can be sure the judge is going to ask why.
Should you be a stay-at-home parent, it won’t hurt your chances of getting custody. If, on the other hand, you’ve simply been unable to either secure or hold a position for some time, the underlying reason why might impact the outcome of the proceedings.
2. How Strong Is Your Emotional Bond with the Children?
It’s not uncommon for children to feel closer to one parent than the other. Be honest with yourself when considering the answer to this question; do they have a stronger bond with you or your ex? If the answer is your ex, start taking steps now to strengthen your own relationship with them.
3. What Kind of Role Do You Play in the Children’s Everyday Lives?
Rarely do two parents split the childrearing evenly. Depending on their other obligations—examples include working, going to school, and caring for an elderly relative—they might establish a routine where one parent addresses most of the children’s day-to-day needs.
For this reason, the judge might ask questions like who gets the kids ready for school in the morning and who helps them with their homework every night. Your answers will help the court determine what kind of arrangement will have the least impact on the kids’ current routine.
4. What Is Your Communication Like with the Other Parent?
Family law judges believe it’s almost always in a child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both parents. As such, they usually want to ensure the custodial parent will facilitate visits with the noncustodial parent. If one of the parties refuses to cooperate with the other, it could hurt his or her chances of securing custody.
5. What Kind of Custody Arrangement Are You Seeking?
Whether you’re requesting to have the kids Monday through Thursday or Friday through Sunday, the judge will want to make sure it’s a feasible arrangement for all parties involved. Therefore, the court will ask about the logistics of drop-offs, pick-ups, and after-school care.
Speak with a New York Family Law Attorney Today
If you’re facing a contentious custody battle, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group for guidance. With more than 200 years of combined experience, we know what it takes to provide exceptional representation. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a family lawyer in New York.