What is a temporary custody hearing?
Divorcing when you have children can be complicated. The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be. A temporary hearing in front of a judge may be required when you begin the separation process and you have children. We are here to demystify the process and dispel the misconceptions about how a temporary custody hearing is conducted so you know what to expect.
This is not Judge Judy
Your hearing will not feel like the courtrooms you have seen on TV. You will not be on trial and your hearing will typically last about 15 minutes. An attorney can request additional time based on the complexity of your case. Your attorney will be the only one speaking directly to the judge for you and attorneys may or may not be able to argue against one another. The Judge will only consider the pleadings, affidavits, and financial declarations unless good cause is shown to the court why additional evidence or testimony may be necessary. This is why it is important to ensure that your story is prepared through a proper affidavit.
Give your attorney every opportunity to show evidence that you are a better parent. There is no such thing as providing too much information to your attorney to consider for your affidavit: screenshots, photos, text messages, and emails are all acceptable. The more information you have to back up your case will make your case stronger.
With this said, your evidence needs to contain solid facts and most hearsay is not permitted. An attorney will be able to explain the hearsay exceptions. If you believe your ex is up to something you should hire a private investigator as soon as possible. It is the judge’s job to determine at this temporary hearing what relief should be given on a temporary basis to either parent. This is not the end of your case. This is an initial temporary hearing ruling and can provide a status quo that can be difficult to overcome for later hearings.
Create a parenting plan
A parenting plan is a required form that is submitted at the temporary hearing. The parenting plan will encompass a visitation schedule, holidays, summer vacation, extracurricular activities, and certain restraints you may be required to abide by. It is important to review this plan with your attorney, because a Judge may adopt your attorney’s parenting plan and incorporate it into your Temporary Order. Additionally, creating a parenting plan will help you mentally prepare for this new chapter.