How Long Do Child Custody Cases Take?
The length of a child custody case varies from judge to judge. Some judges require that a divorcing couple appear in court several times while others require a single appearance. The amount of time that it takes to resolve a case largely depends on the complexity of the case.
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Family courts handle a variety of cases daily. This is why the typical child custody case can take a longer time than expected. There are a few reasons for this, but the most common is that a court may want to check into the well-being of a child. If the court determines that the child is at risk, it can issue an emergency order. If the court feels that the child needs a more permanent solution, it can issue a custody arrangement. This will be binding, and the decision can be enforced in court.
If you’re fighting for custody, you’ll need to provide evidence to the judge to convince him or her that you’re doing what is best for your child. Your attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence. If you’re willing to work together, mediation can be a good option. However, if you’re having a difficult time agreeing, you may be required to go through a trial.
In a trial, a judge may ask the child to testify. The court can also hire a lawyer to represent the child. The judge will then listen to the testimony and take it into consideration. He or she will look at the quality of the relationship between the parents and the child, as well as their capacity to provide for the child. The child’s preference will also affect the final decision. If the child prefers one parent over the other, the judge may assign custody to that parent.
If the court is not convinced of the parents’ ability to meet the child’s needs, it can order a forensic evaluation. The process can last for three to five months. The report will contain background checks on the parties. It will also examine the evidence in an informal manner. Forensic evaluations are very important, as they can determine whether or not the attachment of a child to one parent is detrimental to the child’s overall welfare.
Depending on the complexity of the case, a judge may be able to reach a custody agreement after the trial. This is ideal for parents who have a good working relationship and are able to present their case effectively. It’s a less expensive alternative to arbitration, and the final decision is often easier to enforce.
If a judge finds that one or both parents are at fault, he or she may be able to make an award of custody. This is particularly important in cases where the child’s health or well-being is at risk. This can be done through a child protection investigation or a psychological exam. If the judge decides to do so, it can take months to complete.