One of the worst parts about getting divorced for most parents is having to come to terms with not being able to spend as much time as they’d like with their child. Moms and dads often fight to win custody so that they don’t have to miss important milestones in their kids’ lives. If you are looking to gain more parenting time with your child, then you should prepare to discuss a few critical matters at your child custody hearing.

Judges will generally ask about how well you communicate with your child’s other parent at your custody hearing. There’s a valid reason why they ask about this. The court understands that parents have to regularly discuss scheduling matters and make joint decisions about child’s medical care, education and upbringing. Parents who aren’t able to have a civil conversation with one another are more apt to have conflicts and end up back in court, something that causes a child added stress.

The court is also likely to ask you and your co-parent about your financial situation during your child custody hearing. A judge will likely ask for both of your incomes and about any debt obligations you may have. Their goal in asking these questions is to gain a better perspective about your ability to care for your child’s basic needs, including shelter or food. The court may also utilize any discussions about finances to aid them in making child support decisions.

As a parent, you should come to the hearing prepared to justify why you are requesting a specific type of custodial arrangement. You should bring any information with you that could help support your case.

If the two of you have already implemented a parenting plan that’s not working for you, then you should come prepared to let the judge know what about it that you think needs to be changed.

An Ohio judge’s primary responsibility is to make decisions that they believe are in the child’s best interest. You should make sure that any justification for why there should be a modification in your case should focus on your son or daughter’s needs and not just your own. An experienced attorney can help you build your case for why you should be given additional parenting time with your child.