How Long Do Child Custody Cases Take? 

There are many variables that can influence the length of a child custody case. However, it is possible for a court case to last months or years. In addition, a judge’s schedule can be congested and a parent may have to wait several months for a hearing. If you need to obtain an emergency order, it may take longer. 

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Some judges will require a divorcing parent to appear in court multiple times before making a decision. A child’s age and preferences can also affect a judge’s decision. It is important for parents to understand the process and prepare for it. This will help reduce the stress of the process. 

Before a judge makes a final decision, the judge will take testimony from both parties. They will also interview the child in camera. During this interview, the judge will try to determine whether or not the child understands that it is important to tell the truth. Also, the judge will look at the family’s history of violence or other problems. The judge might also hire a guardian ad litem to represent the child. 

If a judge feels that the parties are too far apart to work together, he or she can appoint a neutral mediator to reach a settlement. Mediation can be a very effective way for parties to reach an agreement, and can help save time and money. Having a good lawyer can give you a leg up in the custody battle. 

Parents have to agree on the terms of custody before a court will enter a custody order. They must also sign an agreement that is notarized. Many counties have laws stating that custody disputes must be resolved within a specific amount of time. These are usually 18 months or so. But a few states, including Indiana, allow a dispute to extend for as long as three years. 

A trial is a stressful event. A parent’s best bet is to reach an out-of-court settlement with their ex-spouse. While this can take weeks or even a month, it can be more expensive to go through the court system. If both parents are able to agree on their child’s future, they can negotiate a parenting plan. 

Although there are a lot of factors that can make a custody case longer than anticipated, it is still possible to resolve the dispute and prevent it from extending. If you have a strong attorney, you can convince a judge to agree on terms that will work for you and your child. 

Depending on the type of case, a judge’s schedule can affect the duration of a custody case. Judges in larger cities may have more staff and court dockets. Those in less-populated areas often serve more counties, so it can take longer for a child custody case to be finalized. 

Courts are overloaded with custody cases. Even if parents are able to settle, they are still in each other’s lives. Often, children feel obligated to take sides.