Attorney Shauna M. Albright Prepares Parents for Child Custody Hearings

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Attorney Shauna M. Albright lists the top four tips on what to do when arguing a custody case in front of a judge at a custody hearing.

Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright

There are times when you will not have a lot of time to argue your case at a hearing, so you want to address your most important points first as well as provide evidence to support your points.

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Shauna M. Albright, founding and managing attorney of the Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright, focuses on child custody and visitation. “It is typically in the best interest of the children to have some form of visitation and custodial time with each parent, even if the visitation must be supervised,” said Albright, author of “Child Custody and Visitation in California: Preparing for the Battle Ahead and Strategies for Winning the War,” which is slated for release in early 2017.

When arguing a custody case in front of a judge at a custody hearing, Albright shares the following four tips:

No. 1: Always dress appropriately. “This means no T-shirts, caps or provocative clothing,” stresses Albright. “First impressions are lasting impressions. Dress as if you are going to brunch with a friend or in business casual attire.”

No. 2: Practice. “It is important to know your case and the five most important points you want to make,” adds Albright. “There are times when you will not have a lot of time to argue your case at a hearing, so you want to address your most important points first as well as provide evidence to support your points. For example, if you are arguing that your child should live with you primarily because you have been the primary caregiver for the majority of your child’s life, you will want to point out facts to support your position. You may call attention to the fact that the child has been for years registered in a school in your school district. Simply making statements that are not supported by facts may not be convincing.”

No. 3: Anticipate what the other parent is going to argue. “By anticipating what the other parent is going to say, you can address it immediately to the judge if you have a counter to the argument,” says Albright. “By the time you and the other parent are in court, each party should have prepared a declaration to the court spelling out each parent’s wishes for custody and visitation. You should have a good idea what the other parent is going to say and be ready to provide counter evidence to their argument. For example, if one parent argues that the other parent has not been in the child’s life for years, you as the other parent should be ready to counter that if it is not true.”

No 4: Be polite but assertive. “Do not interrupt the judge, but be assertive,” concludes Albright. “Once the other parent has had an opportunity to be heard and if there is something else that you believe would be important for the court to hear, jump right in and explain it. The key is to be polite, yet assertive.”

About Shauna M. Albright, Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright
Shauna M. Albright is an AVVO Clients’ Choice recipient for Child Custody. The Law Offices of Shauna M. Albright exclusively handles family law cases, such as divorce/separation, child custody/visitation, domestic violence, spousal support (alimony), child support, Department of Child Support Services cases, and more. For more information, call (951) 400-5273, or visit http://www.albrightfamilylaw.com. The law office is located at 11801 Pierce Street, Suite 200, Riverside, CA 92505.

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