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How to prepare for a child custody hearing in New York

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Child Custody

Custody trials can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. When parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, a trial, also known as an evidentiary hearing, may be necessary to determine the best interests of the child.

Proper preparation is essential to present a strong case. In New York, understanding the process and gathering the right evidence can significantly impact the outcome of the trial.

Gather essential documents

To build a solid case, gather important documents related to your child’s well-being. These documents might include medical records, school reports and any history of domestic violence or child abuse.

Establish a stable living environment

Demonstrating a stable living environment is essential when determining custody arrangements. Make sure your living arrangements are healthy and safe for your child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Prepare a list of witnesses

Choose individuals who have witnessed your parenting skills and can demonstrate you are a capable parent. These witnesses may be family members, teachers, coaches, mentors or friends who have observed your interactions with your child.

Consider the child’s wishes

According to the NY Courts, a judge will also consider children’s wishes, although the court will give more consideration to their preference the closer they are to 18 years of age.

Stay calm and respectful

It is important to keep your composure throughout the trial. Present yourself as cooperative and respectful, both to the court and the other party.

Preparing for a child custody trial can be stressful, but it is more manageable when you pay attention to detail and plan thoughtfully.

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