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An overview of the child custody hearing process

Child custody proceedings are conducted to determine whom a child’s custodial parent will be and what rights the noncustodial parent will have. Parents in North Carolina who want maximum parental rights need to prepare for a child custody hearing thoroughly. If a person has an attorney, he or she may spend time going over questions that a judge may ask during a hearing.

Even if an individual doesn’t have an attorney, it is still worth thinking about questions that may be asked at a child custody hearing. Furthermore, parents should rehearse their responses to those questions. Judges usually inquire about where the child will stay after school or where he or she will sleep at night. In addition to communicating in a clear and concise manner, individuals attending a child custody proceeding are encouraged to dress and otherwise present themselves as adults.

Parents, teachers and the children themselves may testify at such an event. Adults who testify will be asked to provide information about their interactions with both the parents and the children. They may also give an opinion as to who is best suited to be the custodial parent. Children are generally allowed to testify if they are both old and mature enough to do so. Custody rulings are generally made shortly after the hearing concludes.

Generally speaking, the law prefers that both parents have joint custody of their children. However, if that is not possible, it is still preferable that both parents play a role in their children’s lives. The parents themselves may be able to create a plan that accomplishes this goal in private or with a mediator. An attorney may review any agreement that is created before it is sent to a judge for approval.