Nobody ever sails into parenthood expecting rough waters. Smooth sailing is expected when parents bring a child into this world, but things sometimes take twists and turns along the way. If you find yourself in a custody dispute with your ex, you should seek the advice of family lawyer to ensure that your rights and the best interests of your children are being protected. As you get help and prepare for a legal battle for custody of your child, you may wonder what the judge is likely to ask you. While it differs from judge to judge and from trial to trial, here are some of the most common questions a judge will probably ask you.
What are the details of your current custody arrangement?
A judge is likely to want to understand the kind of stability the child has experienced throughout the divorce proceedings so far. The judge may ask other specific questions, such as inquiring to know which parent met the primary needs of the child prior to the separation. If you are the primary caregiver, make sure that is clear with how you answer this question. If you have been the predominant parent and a very stable force in your child's life, that is something very strong in your favor.
What is your current living situation like?
The judge needs to know about your current home and the home of your ex. The judge will need to assess whether the living situation is one where a child can thrive and have all of his needs met. This doesn't mean that you need to worry about the size of your home or its luxuries. A judge just wants to know that it's a place where a child can thrive. You can also expect follow-up questions about other factors of your home life, such as whether you have kids from a previous marriage and what the emotional environment within the home is like.
Have you done anything to disrupt your child's relationship with the other parent?
While it will be phrased differently depending on the exact circumstances of your case, expect the judge to ask about the relationship between you and your ex. The judge will want to know whether you have ever interfered with your child seeing your ex and whether visitation has been denied. You must answer all questions honestly, but the fact that you will be asked this question in court should serve as a reminder why you should never try to interfere in that parent-child relationship no matter how much you dislike your ex.
Finally, keep in mind that many people in the courtroom are on your side. The judge wants the same thing that you do: to protect the best interests of your child. Simply answer the questions honestly and leave any anger and spite that you feel for your ex at the door when you walk into a courtroom. If you are able to do that, you should expect calm waters again very soon. Work with a family lawyer, like Lois Iannone Attorney at Law, before going to court.