In many cases, the state of Illinois awards joint custody rights to parents after a divorce. If a parent is denied custody of their child, that person will typically receive visitation rights to that son or daughter. As a general rule, the outcome of a child custody hearing depends largely on your actions before and during the proceeding.
Show that you have a strong relationship with your child
A judge is going to want to see that you have a tangible bond with your child before making you that minor’s primary caregiver. You can show evidence of this bond by submitting phone records, visitation logs and other evidence that highlights your efforts to be a good parent. It may also be possible to obtain statements from your child’s doctor, teacher or any other important adult in that person’s life. These statements can be used to verify that you’re capable of providing a safe and nurturing environment.
Be respectful in court during the proceeding
It’s critical that you dress in a professional manner for your court appearance. It is also important that you address the judge in a respectful manner and avoid speaking until it is your turn to do so. Following this advice will likely allow you to make a positive impression on the court, which can make it easier to obtain a favorable outcome in your child custody case.
Ideally, you’ll show up a few minutes early for the hearing to show that you’re prepared. If you are going to be late, be sure to contact the court as quickly as possible to explain the reason for your tardiness. Otherwise, you could be held in contempt of court or run the risk of having a default judgement issued in the other parent’s favor.
Regardless of the outcome of a custody hearing, it’s important to be a good parent to your child. Doing so may make it easier to obtain a larger share of custody or visitation at a later date.