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Texas couples going through divorce often find child custody negotiations to be exceedingly difficult. Being fully prepared for your hearing is crucial in this case, especially if you’re arguing for full custody of a child. TheSpruce.com offers these tips on how to properly navigate a custody hearing and ensure the best interests of your child remains at the focus of any court proceedings.

Your state laws can have an influence on the court’s decision, so it’s best for parents to be aware of which apply. For instance, in Texas a parent must meet certain requirements in order to be rewarded sole custody. Things like conflicting views on moral or religious issues, a record of violence or neglect, or being convicted of criminal activity can render you unqualified in the eyes of the court. If one parent receives sole custody, a visitation schedule will need to be determined for the non-custodial parent. 

Bringing the right documents can have a huge impact on a court’s decision. Common items include legal forms, a proposed visitation schedule, documentation on phone call frequency/length, and written statements showing support for you as a parent. Your lawyer can discuss in detail which documents are relevant to your specific case. 

Along with the above, you’ll also want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for a courtroom setting when attending your custody hearing. While it might not always be fair, how you look can influence a judge, especially if it looks like you’ve put little effort into your appearance. In general, clothing that would be appropriate for a job interview will also be acceptable for your child custody hearing.