An overview of child custody proceedings

Florida parents who are going to court for child custody should prepare as thoroughly as possible. This may include bringing a babysitter or teacher who can testify to an individual's ability to be a good parent. It is also a good idea to think through potential questions that a judge may ask and have answers to those questions ready ahead of time.

Those who have legal counsel may be able to work with their attorneys to think through potential questions and create appropriate answers. Generally speaking, parents should expect a short proceeding that is held in a relatively small space. Ideally, a parent will wear clothing or otherwise present themselves in a manner that indicates being a responsible adult. Children may be given the opportunity to testify in the proceedings if they are old enough to do so.

In many cases, the judge will make a ruling relatively quickly. The ruling, which will be based on the best interests of the child, will determine who the custodial parent is and the rights of the noncustodial parent. Noncustodial parents are often given visitation rights during weekends and holidays.

Those who are going through child custody proceedings may do so with the help of an attorney. This could be beneficial for those who are unsure of their rights or otherwise would like someone to represent their interests at that time. An attorney can provide guidance as to how a parent should dress, how to act toward the other parent and what to say when addressed by a judge or other court officials.

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