If you and your abuser cannot agree on custody and visitation arrangements for your child, the court can hold a hearing to determine, in accordance with your state’s laws, who should have physical and legal custody of your child and how, if at all, it should be divided.
Trials may require you, your abuser and other witnesses to testify and submit to questioning about your abilities as a parent; the process can be intense, combative, and physically and emotionally draining. You should get familiar with the laws and procedures; this knowledge is critical to maintaining your rights.
Learn tips for testifying in court.
While you can represent yourself at any stage of litigation, including settlement and trial, you should consult a family law attorney with domestic violence expertise before you decide to do so.
After a judge issues a ruling on your custody or visitation case, you may be entitled to challenge the decision regarding one or more aspects of your case, as long as the grounds for your challenge meet the requirements of your state law. Before you consider filing an appeal, consult a family law attorney with domestic violence expertise as the appellate process can be very complex and expensive.
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