A court will ask both parents several questions during a child custody battle in order to determine what is best for the child or children involved. First and foremost, the judge is concerned with the child’s best interests.
You can expect the following questions:
– Child’s Needs
Courts need accurate data and information about a child’s needs.
Parents should prepare for the hearing with exact and verifiable answers to the following questions:
- How old is your child/children?
- How much do you spend on child’s clothing, food, and education?
- How much do you spend on a babysitter or a nanny (if applicable)?
- How much do you usually spend on doctor’s visits (i.e., dentist, optician, etc.)?
- Does the child have any special needs? If so, what are they, and how it affects your expenses?
– Income and Assets
Both parents will be asked about their assets and salaries by the judge. Therefore, the money for child support will come from these sources, so do not lie or provide false information as it will be used against you. Lying or giving incorrect answers will damage your credibility during future hearings, and you might face severe penalties.
- What is your weekly income?
- How much money do you hold in your bank account?
- Do you own any assets? If so, what kind are these assets? What is their value?
The amount of child support is determined according to the parent’s potential earning, not their actual income. In other words, the judge might decide that the parent is voluntarily working at a lower income job when the same position is available at a significantly higher salary. Therefore, the court will consider hardships caused by the child support amount voluntary.
An experienced child support lawyer might argue that the higher-income job poses health risks to the parent and will affect their ability to pay child support in the future.
– Parents’ Expenses
The judge will inquire about the parents’ expenses and expect proof. Child support hearings require you to answer questions about more serious payments (i.e., medical emergencies, extra responsibilities, taking care of another child).
The judge will formulate a fair and suitable solution for the child and his parents based on your answers and your state’s guidelines.
The majority of judges prefer to give custody to both spouses since they believe that the child should spend equal time with both. To do this, the judge will inquire about how well the husband and wife communicate.
Keeping in touch with your ex-spouse is crucial, especially if you have joint custody. Both parties will be required to participate in raising and caring for their children by the court.
– Existing Arrangements
It is not the court’s business to interfere with an existing custody arrangement if everything is going smoothly. A judge will therefore ask you about your current formal or informal custody arrangements. Make sure all relevant information is provided and explain what parts of the arrangement are not working (if applicable).
If you haven’t made any arrangements previously, the judge will ask you what type of custody arrangement you want. Most courts prefer to award joint custody since it is beneficial to both parents and best for the child. The child has close communication and contact with both parents when he has joint custody, as opposed to sole custody.