How do I prepare for a custody hearing?

When you go to court for a custody hearing, you want to make sure you make a good impression on the judge and everyone who is attending the hearing. You can do this by dressing appropriately, taking the time to prepare for your hearing, and showing respect.


What if I miss a court hearing?

Depending on the type of court hearing, the court may

  • make decisions without you,
  • close your case,
  • issue a warrant for your arrest, and/or
  • hold you in contempt of court (which can mean jail time).

Who decides about child custody?

The court wants you and the other parent to agree about child custody and make a parenting plan on your own.

A parenting plan is a good idea even if your relationship is going well.

If your plan is reasonable, the court will probably approve it.

What is supervised visitation?

Supervised visitation is when another adult stays with the child and parent when they visit to make sure the child is safe. If you are worried about the child’s safety, you can ask the court for supervised visitation.