I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
When parents are going through a divorce and are unable to agree on things, they are often left with no other choice than leaving the child custody arrangement decision up to a judge. It can be intimidating to know that you are about to go to the court of family law, especially if you have little to no experience with the court system. The best way to calm your nerves about your upcoming child custody hearing is to get all of your questions answered. Below are a few questions that you may have and the most common answers to them.
Will You Be Required to Testify?
At a civil or criminal trial, you would be called up to the stand by the judge to answer questions. Instead of testifying in this manner in a family law court, you will likely be asked questions by the judge directly and be required to answer them. However, if your family law case is particularly controversial, you may be required to take the stand to testify so that your testimony is able to be entered as evidence.
What Type of Questions Should You Expect?
The judge's responsibility is to determine how to award child custody. Therefore, in order for the judge to do this, there are a number of questions that they will need to ask you. For instance, you will be asked about your finances, your living situation, and your relationship with the child's other parent. You will also likely be asked about your mental and physical health, your relationship with your child, and any current or past allegations of domestic abuse or violence.
Will Only One Parent Receive Child Custody?
A family law judge is going to make their child custody decision based on the best interests of the child, which may or may not mean that one parent will receive sole custody of the child. However, it is important that you understand that the family law legal system recognizes the importance of children having strong relationships with both their mother and father, and because of this, the judge tries to come up with an agreement that consists of shared custody. Of course, shared custody arrangements are not always possible.
Do Children Have to Testify?
The answer to this question will vary from one state to the next, but when making decisions regarding the custody of a child, the wishes of said child may be taken into consideration by the judge. However, the child will not be required to testify in court, as this can be a very traumatic experience for a child, regardless of their age. Instead of sharing their wishes in open court, they can speak to the judge in their chambers privately.
If you would like to learn more, contact a family law service.