child custody trial

Child custody trial – Child custody cases can be frustrating, time consuming and stressful.  The court procedures can be very complicated for someone who is not trained to deal with it on a regular basis. There are few things in a person’s life that will require more attention, care, and diligence than the controversy surrounding the custody of one’s children. Clients often ask what to expect from a child custody trial, and in this blog, we will try to explain.  Like all of our blogs this is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to substitute the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

How can a child custody case come to a conclusion?

Other than the plaintiff dismissing a child custody action, there are two ways for any child custody matter to end – through consent or through a child custody trial.  We speak in great detail about how to handle a child custody matter through a consent order, which you can read about here.

Child custody trials come in to play when the parties don’t consent to a child custody arrangement on their own. At that point, both parties will get their day in court to provide evidence of their fitness as a parent, as well as to tell the court about any concerns that they may have about the fitness of the other parent.

Preparation for a Child Custody trial 

In child custody trials, information is given through testimony, and presentation of evidence.  Both parities want to know as much of that information beforehand as possible.  Because of this, open and honest communication between you and your family law attorney is very important.  It is better that we know about something in your past or present that is not favorable now, rather than getting a surprise during testimony.

In some child custody cases, the parties conduct discoveryto get as much information as possible about the party before the trial. This includes Interrogatories, request for production of documents, and requests for admission.  You as a party may also have to turn over discovery in the same manner. 

The most important consideration in preparing for a child custody trial is making sure you communicate facts, expectations, and risks with your family law attorney.  The better you and your attorney communicate about things beforehand, the better everything will be.

What can I expect from a custody trial?

In North Carolina, a judge decides custody after a child custody trial.  He or she listens to all the evidence presented by both parties and renders a decision based on what is in the best interest of the child.

With regard to process of the trial itself:

  • Both parents will have the opportunity to testify
  • Both parents can be called to testify even if they do not want to
  • Both parents can call additional witnesses
  • Both parents will have the opportunity to cross examine any of the other parties’ witnesses
  • Pictures, recordings, and official documents can be entered into evidence and considered
  • Both parents will have the opportunity to make a closing statement
  • Both parents will have the opportunity to ask the judge for exactly what they are seeking with regards to a custody order.

If you need a child custody lawyer in charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding areas, contact us.  We handle child custody and a wide variety of other family law matters.  Let us be your voice.


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