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Child custody proceedings: Here's what to expect

Like all good parents in Arizona, your children's best interests were your main concern when you decided to file for divorce. It's definitely true that divorce disrupts children's lives. However, it need not be true that it is sure to ruin them. By building a strong support network from the start, you can encourage and provide for your kids as you adapt to a new lifestyle together.

No matter how prepared you think you are, child custody proceedings can be a bit daunting, especially you've never experienced litigation in the past. No two cases are exactly the same, but you might want to talk to a friend or family member who has gone through custody proceedings. You'll likely be able to relate to many issues. Discussing what to expect with someone well-versed on the topic can help alleviate a lot of stress.

Expect to need time to prepare

You most certainly do not want to walk into a courtroom for child custody proceedings without having compiled necessary documents, important information and other things you'll need. You'll also want to prepare to present yourself in a court-appropriate manner.

Child custody proceedings are not the place to express your personal love of jeans with holes in them or sweatpants that are 10 years old but fit just right. The way you dress, the things you say and your overall demeanor can affect the outcome of your case.

The judge will ask you questions

Many Florida parents ask attorneys to speak and act on their behalves in court. However, it is still likely that the judge overseeing your case will ask you questions during custody litigation. It might be as general as asking where you will live after your divorce. Then again, questions might be more personal, such as asking where your child will sleep or if he or she will have his or her own space in your home.

Expect to enlist aid from others

Numerous other people can be helpful to you as you seek custody of your kids in court. For instance, your child's teachers, babysitters you've hired in the past or anyone else who knows you well can attest to your ability and competency as a parent.

If the other parent claims that you're unfit

You can expect things to get messy if your co-parent is trying to convince the court that you are not fit to have custody of your children. If this is the case, you'll want to be prepared to refute allegations and show evidence that proves you are a responsible adult who is more than ready and able to take care of your own children.

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