When you and your spouse decide to separate and get a divorce, child custody and visitation rights issues are brought up. Essentially, these legal terms involve the right to make decisions about the child and the parenting time given to the non-custodial parent. However, it’s essential to know that dealing with a child custody and visitation case as a mother can be complicated and overwhelming. Unless you’re an expert, you need a dedicated lawyer to help you go through the process.
Hence, if you’re hiring a legal professional for your case, the first step you need to take is to have a consultation with them. Doing so allows you to get a clearer picture of your situation, which is essential in obtaining a winning outcome.
To ensure you’re prepared for your child custody and visitation consultation, below are a few ways to consider from the get-go:
1. List Down All Your Questions
Generally, the primary purpose of the consultation is to obtain all the necessary information about child custody and visitation before the legal process begins. Hence, to help you prepare for the meeting, you need to come up with a list of questions. By doing so, you can keep yourself organized and ensure you won’t miss any information, which is crucial for winning your case.
Whether you write your questions on a sheet of paper or lodge them into your phone, make sure to get them ready before the consultation begins. Some things you can ask include the relationship between child custody and support, the process of determining custody arrangements, and other significant questions. If you want to have a better idea of the kind of questions to prepare for the consultation, you can check out some Child Custody FAQs from reliable law firm websites for more information.
2. Get Familiar With The Legal Principles
When preparing for your child custody and visitation consultation with your lawyer, it is essential to familiarize yourself with certain legal principles associated with the issue at hand. Like other specialized practice areas, family laws can be complex and confusing to handle. If you’re unfamiliar with some important legal principles, you can’t get the most out of your consultation because you can’t catch up with what the lawyer says.
For instance, since you’re dealing with a child custody and visitation case, you need to understand the best interest of a child standard. It refers to the court’s judicial approach in trying and deciding custody and parenting time cases. It seeks to resolve the issue based on certain elements, such as the parent’s emotional, mental, and physical fitness, the parent’s living situation, and the child’s needs.
This is one of the things you should get familiar with when preparing for a consultation. This way, you and your lawyer will be on the same page when the latter begins to discuss your case.
3. Bring All The Necessary Documents
To prepare for your child custody and visitation consultation, you should also bring all necessary documents related to the issue at hand. Your lawyer will examine these documents to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case, the possible outcomes, and the options you can take to protect your rights as a parent throughout the proceedings.
Some items to bring to your consultation can include:
- Legal Documents: These consist of court-issued records that can give your lawyer a clear picture of the events that happened before the marriage. These can include court orders, marriage certificates, and other relevant documents.
- Financial Documents: These consist of any record that shows any expenses incurred for the child’s benefit. These can include daycare receipts, healthcare costs, education expenses, and even insurance policies you pay for the child.
- Other Documentation: These consist of emails, text messages, letters, or social media posts that your lawyer needs to know about you and your family. Make sure to keep copies of these items for the consultation to see if they’re helpful for your case.
- Family History: These consist of any records showing everything that happened to your family since the child was born. These can include the addresses where the family lived, each member’s mental or physical problems, and other related documents.
As a parent, navigating a child custody and visitation case on top of the divorce proceedings can be very frustrating. Without proper preparation, you may compromise your chances of getting a winning judgment. As such, it’s essential to consult an experienced family lawyer to get ready.
It is essential to be fully prepared for the consultation. To guide you, keep the information mentioned above in mind. By doing this, you can make the most out of your meeting with your lawyer to ensure a successful result for you and your child.