Law Offices of Michael Gast
A Family Tradition of Representation Since 1950

What to do before a custody hearing

If you share a child with a former partner, it may be possible to obtain custody of that son or daughter. It might be possible to receive sole custody of a child, but Maryland law generally prefers that custody be split between both parents. Take a look at what you can do to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in a child custody hearing.

Are you the better parent?

Judges cannot grant sole custody to parents unless it is clear that they are the only ones fit to be their children’s primary caregivers. For instance, a parent may be denied legal custody rights because he or she is mentally ill or is otherwise incapable of making decisions on a minor’s behalf. It may be possible to use medical records, witness statements or other evidence to establish that you are best suited to meet your son or daughter’s needs.

Make a good impression on the judge

Dressing, speaking and otherwise acting appropriately during a child custody hearing can improve your chances of obtaining a favorable ruling. Ideally, you will only speak when asked to do so by the judge, and it is also important to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric during the proceeding.

It’s generally in your best interest to wear business attire to court, but if you don’t have formal clothing, make sure to wear clothes that are free or rips, stains or other blemishes. Your family law attorney may provide more insight into how you should dress for a court hearing.

If you are seeking custody of your children, it’s generally a good idea to contact an attorney to assist with the process of doing so. A legal professional may prepare you for a court hearing or take other steps to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.