A contested child custody trial happens when parents cannot amicably agree on a custody arrangement. In these cases, alternative dispute resolutions, such as mediation with a neutral third party, may not apply because each party may have significantly different parenting styles and views on what serves the child’s best interests. These circumstances often require litigation. Even if going to court consumes time and resources, parents seek legal guidance to help them settle an agreement. Knowing what happens in a trial can guide both parties accordingly. Here is some more information about contested child custody cases in Worcester County.
Your Child’s Needs Should be Paramount
A child custody evaluation is very stressful for a child, so it’s crucial that they feel supported and comfortable during the process. It’s also important to be honest and transparent about the evaluation so your child understands why it’s necessary and what they can expect.
In contested custody cases, a judge may order a forensic child custody evaluation to determine their needs. This comprehensive assessment considers the child’s needs, preferences, and relationship with each parent and is usually conducted by a trained child psychologist.
Your Lawyer Should Have Experience in Contested Child Custody Cases
You must have an experienced child custody lawyer who has litigated many of these cases. With these cases, your trial strategy may need to change quickly with a given piece of testimony. An experienced child custody attorney can make this quick adjustment. Your ideal attorney should also have sharp trial skills and can handle the ins and outs of the trial. Before hiring an attorney, ask them about their experience handling high-contentious custody matters.
Find Evidence to Help Your Case
Judges allocate parental rights based on the child’s best interests. This analysis requires judges to look at several factors, like:
- The child’s wishes
- How well the child has adjusted to school, home, and community
- How likely a parent is to stick to the agreement and allow the other parent to visit
- Each parent’s criminal history
- How well parents can cooperate with each other regarding decision-making for the children
With your lawyer, find evidence that is helpful to your case. This evidence can take many forms, but the purpose of the evidence is to show why you should have custody. Remember that the judge does not know you or the other parent. So, the judge relies on witnesses to inform their decision. You can try to find documentary evidence to back up your case. If the child lives with you currently and is doing well in school, obtain copies of their report cards. You can also have teachers testify that your child is happy and thriving. This evidence could convince a judge to allow the child to live with you.
The Right Lawyer Can Make All the Difference
Hiring a lawyer should be the first thing you do when encountering any legal matter, not a last resort. Whether you’re thinking about a separation or divorce or have been charged with a crime, been injured in an accident, or your civil rights have been violated, you need to first know your rights. Contact Mike Mastracci today at 614 Edmondson Ave Catonsville, MD 21228 (with satellite offices in Ocean City, Snow Hill, and Salisbury, Maryland), 410-869-3400, and check us out on Facebook.