Many divorcing parents in Georgia wonder what to expect when they are facing child custody proceedings. Court appearances can be a major source of anxiety for many, especially for those who have never testified as a witness in court and are unsure about what to expect. Some of the stress can be lessened by knowing what happens at a typical proceeding and preparing key testimony.
Preparation involves deciding what to testify about as well as what witnesses should be called. Witnesses can help support arguments about the most important points in a child custody case, such as who will watch the child when a parent is at work. Parents will be expected to testify about their relationship and experiences with the child as well as their plans for raising the child in the future.
Knowing what to expect is also key. Most custody hearings do not last a long time, so it is important for parents to present their strongest points during the limited time that they have. Most judges will make a decision regarding custody on the same day that they hear the case. Judges may award the parents joint custody or may grant custody to one parent and visitation to the other according to the court's schedule.
Consulting an attorney experienced with handling child custody and child support cases can help make the process less stressful and easier. An attorney will typically be familiar with some of the most common questions and situations that arise. At times, an attorney may be able to reach an accord out of court by conducting negotiations with the other side.