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What can you expect a judge to ask you about before making a child custody determination?

It can be very daunting knowing that there’s an impending court hearing where a judge will make decisions in your child custody case. There are some basic issues that you can prepare yourself for a family law judge to ask about, though.

You can begin formulating your responses now so that you provide the kind of concise and convincing answer that the court is expecting you to have when requesting custody of your kids. 

Communication with your child’s other parent

A judge will likely inquire about how you and your child’s other parent communicate when you attend your custody hearing. They’ll do this to better understand how likely it is that you two will be able to make joint decisions about your child’s upbringing, education, or medical care without needing the court to intervene. 

Financial preparedness for custody

The court is also likely to ask both you and your ex about your finances at a custody hearing. They’ll want to know about your income as well as any debts that you have. Knowing this information will help them determine whether you’re in a good financial place to tend to your child’s basic needs for food, shelter, clothing and emotional support. 

Your reasoning for a custodial rights modification

A family law judge is likely to want you to justify requesting a child custody modification. The court may ask you to explain your reason and to back up anything you say with evidence. Keep in mind, custody is all about what serves the child best — not the parents. Your argument needs to stress how the modification is a benefit to your child.

You shouldn’t expect a Hawaii family law judge to make it easy to request child custody modification. They tend to want to stick with the previous order that they signed off on unless you provide some pretty convincing reasons for why they should allow for a modification. An attorney here in Honolulu can help you determine whether your situation warrants a modification request.