The best interests of the child are essential in a divorce custody hearing. It is difficult for a child to choose one parent over the other unless there are obvious reasons such as neglect or abuse. In some cases, a mediator can help make the transaction smoother. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare your child for the divorce hearing.
Hire an Attorney for Your Child's Best Interests
Before you speak to your child about the divorce proceedings, you need to talk to an attorney about any situations your child has been enduring. This is especially true if the divorce has been detrimental to the child's well-being. Your attorney needs to know everything to ensure the child is prepared for what might come from the opposing partner in the courtroom.
Visit the Courtroom
A child may be fearful of the courtroom and testifying. It is best to have the attorney let the child visit the courthouse and show them the steps that will occur during the testimony. Have a mock hearing including the swearing-in process and some of the questions that could be asked by the judge or opposing attorney. If you've already hired the attorney, he or she may be able to help give your child an idea of what to expect.
Explain Truth or Lie to Your Child
Does your child understand what is a lie and what is the truth? The judge may ask the child if they understand the differences to ensure the testimony will be accurate. Be sure someone has explained the difference so your child can be prepared to give a precise answer.
Tell Your Child The Truth About Who Will Testify
Always be honest with the children and let them know who they will likely see testifying. There could be school officials, doctors, and other various individuals who have witnessed the child in a normal routine who may be present during the hearing.
Watch Your Conduct During All Proceedings
If you have a mediator to help evaluate your case, whether it is voluntary or court-ordered, you need to remain calm at all times. The mediator is working toward what is beneficial for the child, not the parents. Try to avoid confrontations or angry words, especially when your child is watching. A divorce can be hard on children. Adults should try to model calm and collected behaviors even if they are angry.
It is essential the child has a full understanding of what will happen in the courtroom. The divorce is stressful, but the courtroom needs to be where the plan is decided for a happier future. Make it as easy as possible for your child by telling them what to expect and always doing your best to be calm and supportive. Contact a professional like Scott A Bitar Atty for more information.