Meeting with an attorney to handle your child custody dispute can feel intimidating, even downright scary, at a time where you’re emotionally exhausted and reeling from the end of your relationship or marriage. You never wanted to be in this situation, yet here you are, and you need to know what lies ahead. It is helpful to have an idea of what will be asked of you and your ex when you meet with a child custody attorney.
Child custody attorneys, as an objective participant in your dispute, will act on behalf of the children in the situation rather than acting on behalf of either parent. For them to do this, they will need to know the details of your separation, your lives, and any other factors that will indicate the best course of action for a child custody agreement.
Some of these questions might make one or both parents uncomfortable, but you should know that there is a good reason behind why these things are being asked of you.
Questions About the Home
As you likely expected, a child custody attorney will ask a number of questions about the home environment that each parent facilitates. Whoever the children end up living with, the attorney wants to ensure that they are going into an environment that is healthy and safe.
Some of the inquiries that you will have to answer include:
- Does either parent live with other adults or children? Are these individuals related in any way to the child? What is their relationship?
- Has the child been living in a stable environment up until this point? Do they move often or live with other relatives frequently?
- Do one or both parents have adequate space in their separate homes to accommodate the presence of a child?
- Do one or both parents live in a reasonable distance to the child’s school?
Questions About the Parents
During the process of determination of child custody, both parents will be expected to answer a host of questions about themselves and their former partner. These questions are of the utmost importance, as they paint an image of the competency of each parent to provide the care that a child needs to be healthy, happy and safe. Be prepared to answer difficult questions, such as:
- Has either parent been accused of or convicted of domestic violence?
- Does either parent struggle with illness or addiction that can impact their ability to care for a child?
- Has paternity been established?
- Does either parent receive any kind of family assistance from the government?
- What is each child’s relationship with each parent like?
All of these questions and more will impact the decisions made regarding the custody of any children involved.
Meet with a Child Custody Attorney to Handle Custody Disputes
While meeting with an attorney is not something that you will necessarily be looking forward to, it is often an essential step for many separating couples with children. The objective input of your child custody attorney will help guide you through this emotional time, for the betterment of your children and their circumstances. If you answer all of their questions openly and honestly, they will be able to give you the best possible legal advice.