How to Get Custody of a Child

How to Get Custody of a Child


When you file for child custody, you’re doing so to gain custody. And that means doing everything possible to truthfully present your side of the story in hopes that the judge will grant you custody. For a lot of single mothers and fathers, having physical child custody is the most important issue, soaring over child support and legal custody. But where to begin? The following steps will aid you in getting custody of your child:

1. Talk with a Lawyer

In reality, you do not have to hire a lawyer to get child custody. Nevertheless, it is highly suggested. If you don’t currently have a lawyer, think about at least scheduling a meeting with a knowledgeable family law lawyer with the intention of learning more about your case.

2. Learn about the Child Custody Laws in Your State

In order for you to get child custody, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the child custody laws in the state you live in. This is undeniable even if you’re currently working with a lawyer. Think of it this way: the more you can learn in the beginning, the better off you’re going to be. Make it your focus and take the time to do your homework. Comprise a list of the questions that you have as you go over the details, too. And if you have hired a lawyer, make sure to ask those questions prior to your next child custody hearing.

3. Connect With Your State’s Online Custody Resources

A lot of states now have their child custody information accessible online, which included the forms required to file for custody. Printing these out at home will save you the time it takes to go straight to the courthouse.

4. Complete All of the Required Forms Prior to You Filing for Custody

Make sure you complete each form in total. You don’t want to cause needless delays by not marking one or two boxes or providing inadequate information. Additionally, verify if your state has the requirement of your application being notarized. If your state does, complete each section except for the signature and then go to your local Notary Public. A lot of financial institutions provide this service free of charge.

5. File the Forms at the Local Courthouse

A lot of states require you to file your child custody documents face to face. If you decide to work with a lawyer, they will accomplish this for you. If you’re filing by yourself, don’t forget that the clerk can’t give you legal advice. They can only offer instructions for filing the documents. That being said, being a genuinely nice person never hurts! The clerk can be an effective resource as you get ready for your hearing.

6. Prepare for Your Court Date

If you are working with a lawyer or are representing yourself, you’ll need to get ready for court. It’s probable that the child custody hearing will last between 15-20 minutes, particularly if it’s the first in a succession of hearings.  So, consider carefully about what you really want to say, since you’ll only have a couple of minutes to share your perspective. It helps to create a list of the issues you want to talk about, and then take it down to the most essential ones. Ask a friend to help you practice what you want to say, too, so that you can additionally narrow down your discussion points.

7. Go to the Child Custody Hearing

This is evident when you want to get child custody, but it’s very surprising how many parents miss the actual court date or come to court late. Be sure you get to court early. Think about your appearance too and make sure you dress appropriately for the court appearance.

8. Present Your Case

The time you have to speak in court will be brief. And since there isn’t a jury, you don’t have to be concerned about speaking to a lot of people. Try your best to keep calm and speak slowly and with authority. Try and not let yourself be bugged by anything that your soon to be ex says, also. Just present the facts of your case, the way you know them. Additionally, don’t forget to listen twice as much as you speak. Don’t ever interrupt the judge and be sure you answer every question fully.

9. Be Patient

This is the most challenging part. A lot of parents head into court expecting the judge is going to issue a decision straightaway, but in many cases, it takes numerous appearances in court for the judge to make a final child custody decision. Stay patient and have confidence that you’ve done everything you can up to this point in getting custody of your child.

10. Accept the Judge’s Decision

When the judge does ultimately make a ruling, accept their decision. If you don’t gain custody of your child this time, have knowledge you can appeal to the court to re-examine the case in the future. Meanwhile, do everything that the court suggests, whether if is taking parenting classes, getting a job, or moving into a bigger place. Do whatever is in your power to meet any requirements set by the court, and have confidence that when your case is re-examined in the future, your efforts will be well worth it.


  1. Wolf, J. (2020, May 19). 10 Steps to Get Custody of Your Child. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


Jennifer Moshier Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Scottsdale Arizona
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer


Recent Posts



Finding the right mediator can be difficult.


Divorce and Family Law

When a case demands litigation, you’ll have the benefit of 19 years of litigation experience in California and Arizona. But when a case demands collaborative law, or mediation, we can meaningfully describe why collaborative law or mediation may or may not be your best option.

Moshier Law services all of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Jennifer and her team of professionals seek to resolve Family Law cases efficiently with your goals in mind.

Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

Trail Potter  –  Divorce  Lawyer

Moshier Law - Phoenix Divorce, DCS and CPS, Custody, Estate Planning, Probate, and Adoption Lawyers