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How should I act in custody court?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Child Custody |

While California courts generally prefer that you and your co-parent agree on your own custody terms, this is not possible for all couples. Sometimes even if you give it your best effort, you may find yourself heading to custody court.

Many parents wonder about how to act in custody court. Knowing what to do is important but it is just as important to know what not to do.

California courts make custody decisions based on the best interest of the child. They do this by weighing several factors. However, the way you act in court can also influence a judge’s decision.

Do not treat your co-parent poorly

You should avoid speaking negatively about your co-parent. Getting into a verbal or physical altercations with them is even worse.

Most judges understand that custody cases are difficult and involve a lot of complex emotions. However, they still expect you to act like an adult and be able to control your emotions and maintain self-control.

Additionally, when you spend too much of your time focused on talking about how bad the other parent is, you may begin to annoy the judge. Typically, a judge will understand the main problems you have with your co-parent rather quickly.

After that, they will want to know why the child being with you is in the child’s best interest. Try to focus most of your arguments on your good qualities as a parent, rather than your co-parent’s bad qualities.

Be careful what you say outside of court

Today, statements you make almost anywhere can end up being brought into court and used against you.

This warning applies to verbal statements, text messages or social media posts about your children, your co-parent or your custody situation. Parents are routinely advised today to stay off social media if they are in the middle of custody litigation.

Finally, treat court like the professional environment that it is. Dress properly, act respectful to everyone and remember your manners.


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