Pacheco Perez P.A.

How do I prepare for a child support hearing or trial?

While divorce and child custody matters may make up the majority of family law cases, there are times when child support trials must also be held. It's common for trials involving child support to come about after one party has requested a review or modification of the current child support order. If the other party objects to the child support enforcement agency's findings, a hearing is usually the next step.

At the hearing, it's very possible that you are your ex will not even be in the same room. It's common for attorneys to handle the negotiations of the matter in the courtroom and come out to ask you a question or inform you of what is happening. If an agreement cannot be made at the hearing, the case will have to be set for evidence and a trial date selected.

Anytime you are going into the courts, whether it be for a trial where you will be present before the judge or negotiations held out of the courtroom, it's important to dress appropriately. It's best to err on the formal side and wear what you would to a formal wedding or a funeral. Making a good impression also extends beyond your attire. Be on time — 15 minutes early is better — and ensure you have copies of your paperwork and any documentation you may need.

While you may want to have someone drop you off and pick you up, it's important to ensure anyone you bring with you for support understands that they must stay out of the proceedings. It's also never a good idea to bring the children with you unless the judge specifically requests to see them. If you aren't sure about what is and is not appropriate or how you can best prepare for your hearing, an attorney can address these issues.

Source:, "How to Get Ready for a Court Hearing or Trial," Northwest Justice Project, accessed Sep. 22, 2015

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