Preparing for Your First Child Custody Hearing in Pennsylvania

Posted by Joseph Lento | Aug 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Child custody hearings can be intimidating, especially if it's your first time in court. Some parents may feel like they have very little control of the outcome, as they let the courts decide how they'll co-parent in the future. However, with a plan, and with the help of an experienced child custody attorney, you can significantly increase your chances of getting child custody.

Here are a few things you should do before your hearing to ensure you're prepared.

Have a general understanding of your state's child custody laws

Child custody laws vary state by state. Hence why it's important for you to have a basic understanding of how your state determines child custody before you walk into court. Of course, you don't have to be an expert (that's what lawyers are for), but it's better to gain somewhat of an understanding of the law so you aren't completely left in the dark throughout the process. Also, being informed means you'll be able to ask your attorney the right questions, and you can follow the case for yourself.

Bring the proper documentation

One of the most important things you can do before attending a hearing is to gather the paperwork and documents necessary for the hearing. You should consult with your attorney to determine which documents are important and whether they are admissible in court. Some paperwork that most parents bring includes custody evaluations, cell phone logs, visitation schedules, and proof of child support payments.

Understand how your state determines who is the “better” parent

In some child custody cases, the courts will attempt to determine who is the "better" parent. This can be a difficult task, to say the least.

In Pennsylvania courts, one factor that heavily influences this decision is each parent's availability. Other important factors may include a parent's criminal history and salary.

Many people are under the impression that gender is a serious factor in this decision. But according to statutory law, judges aren't allowed to make judgments based on gender.

Dress appropriately for court

Obviously, you want to make the best impression you can in court. So, dressing the part is important. As shallow as this may seem, the judge will form an opinion of you based on your appearance. For example, if you wear shorts, a wife-beater, and some flip flops to court, chances are the judge won't perceive you as a responsible adult.

Ask your attorney about what you should wear to send the message that you take the role of a parent seriously.

Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney 

With all the things to consider in a child custody case, predicting an outcome in a hearing is pretty difficult. This is why it's important that you retain a qualified family law attorney who has extensive knowledge of the state's process and has helped parents get an arrangement that reflects the best interest of their child. To ensure your parental rights are protected, and your contributions are considered, contact the LLF Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.