Parents in California and throughout the nation who want custody of their children need to show that they can do what is in their children’s best interest. The first step in proving that this is the case is by preparing for a child custody hearing. At the hearing, a parent should be dressed in a respectful manner to show that he or she is capable of being a mature adult.

The hearing takes place in a small space and in a relatively short period of time. Therefore, it may be worthwhile for parents to plan ahead of time for the questions a judge is likely to ask. This may make it easier to respond promptly and in a manner that will impress the court. At a child custody hearing, both parents may be allowed to provide testimony.

A child may be also allowed to testify assuming that he or she is old and mature enough to do so. Teachers, babysitters and other witnesses may be given a chance to explain why an individual is best suited to have custody of a child. A decision as to who the custodial parent will be is generally made quickly after the proceeding ends. Parents who are not granted custody are typically allowed visitation based on a schedule created by the judge.

When parents get a divorce, they are still generally obligated to provide for their children. Furthermore, they are typically entitled to have a relationship with their kids whether they have custody or not. Those who wish to obtain maximum parental rights may wish to consult with an attorney. Doing so may make it possible to learn more about child custody proceedings or the criteria used to determine the rights that a parent has to a child.