Determining child custody is among the most contentious aspects of divorce. Many Michigan parents are at odds about these issues, especially when they’re vying for sole physical or legal custody. If you’re facing a custody hearing, Very Well Family offers the following tips.

Understand how custody is determined

The court aims to make all custody decisions in the best interest of the child. When it comes to sole custody, most courts use the better parent standard, which establishes that one parent is equipped to provide better care than the other. Proving this in court can be challenging, unless there are instances of abuse and neglect that can be pointed out. This highlights the importance of choosing a quality legal team to work on your custody case.

Conduct yourself with decorum

On the day of your hearing, make sure you abide by proper courtroom etiquette. While you may be emotional, it’s best to keep these emotions in check. Outbursts, arguments with your ex, or disrespectful behavior could turn the opinion of the court against you. Practice what you’re going to say and how you’re going to answer questions beforehand to refrain from letting your emotions get the better of you.

Bring the right documents

In order to prove your claim that you’re a better caregiver, you may need to provide certain documents. This can include a journal of phone calls taking place between you and your child, or your child and your ex. This establishes the frequency of contact, which is essential when determining the quality of a parent-child relationship. You may also need to present your child’s school and medical records, which establishes how well your child is faring in your care. Once again, your attorney will advise you on which documents you should bring.