A custody hearing is an official court meeting that is conducted in order to resolve various legal issues revolving around child custody. Parties present usually include the parents or guardians, their lawyers, and a family law judge. Custody hearings can often be part of a more extensive case such as a divorce case, or they can be held separately on their own.
The results and findings of child custody hearings are often finalized into a court order and may be referred to when needed in the future.
Custody hearings are held in order to discuss issues such as:
- Determination of custody allocations (whether full, split, partial, or other types of custody)
- Setting of child visitation schedules
- Terms of custody and visitation (for instance, whether in-person, supervised custody, virtual visitation, or other methods)
In addition, child custody hearings can also address other related issues such as child support, spousal support, and visitation rights of other parties such as grandparents.
Child custody terms are often subject to disputes or conflicts. Many of these involve the amount of time that each parent is allowed to spend with the child. Such disputes must be resolved according to the “child’s best interest standard.” This means that the distribution of custody rights must be done in a way that benefits the child.
Disputes over child custody terms can often be serious and may require court intervention. This is especially true if the child’s safety or well-being is compromised. Some cases may require a protection order or other additional enforcement. Less urgent requests can often be resolved through a modification of the current custody order.
Custody hearings often involve some very serious issues and subjects. You may need to hire a lawyer for advice or representation during a child custody hearing or proceeding. A qualified child custody lawyer can provide you with the necessary legal assistance for your case. Also, your lawyer can represent you if you need to file additional legal claims.