I’m about to have a baby. Well, to tell the truth, I still have a couple weeks before my due date—but I’m also feeling a little bit like everyone I know is on baby watch. I’ve never been so critical of every single feeling I have, wondering if it means something more.
It’s my first baby. I’ve never been through this before, so I think that has a little bit to do with the way I’m feeling right now. It’s always really nerve wracking to go through something new, especially when it’s going to change your family dynamic so much. It’s for the best, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a little bit of anxiety there.
I imagine, in a lot of ways, how I’m feeling probably mirrors how you’re feeling if you’re facing a divorce and custody case—only, of course, your anxiety is probably ratcheted up a couple of notches. You’ve got the whole mama bear thing going on, and you’ve also got all the worry and fear associated with the unknown. Even though you probably know that taking steps towards gaining custody of your kids is for the best, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with its share of uncertainties. You’ve never been through this before, so there’s no doubt you’ve got a ton of questions keeping you lying awake at night. But the good news is that, even if you’ve never been through a custody case before, you don’t have to go at it alone, either.
Whether you choose to hire a family law attorney or represent yourself, there are a fair number of resources out there designed to make sure that you know what you need to know to make the kinds of choices you’ll need to make in the coming days, weeks, and months.
So, if you’re facing a Virginia child custody case, where should you start?
A great question! Obviously, if you’re facing a custody case, you know your kids are at stake. Their health, happiness, and general well being is of the utmost importance, and you want to make sure that the decisions you’re making are ones that are carefully calculated to yield the results you want. So, what should you do?
1. Request a copy of our free book, the Woman’s Custody Survival Guide.
Obviously, your first step should be to get a copy of our custody-specific book, the Woman’s Custody Survival Guide. It’s chock full of the exact type of information you’ll need to make the decisions you need to make. It lists out the best interests of the child factors (which are pretty much the ten commandments of custody cases, as far as Virginia is concerned), and discusses special issues in custody cases, like what to do if you’re breastfeeding, homeschooling, or have special needs children. It’s full of tons of information, so you can start to plan and make decisions moving forward. (Besides, it’s free!) Written by Kristen Hofheimer, it’s pretty much the Bible for Virginia moms with custody cases.
Need an extra enticement? Once you request your copy of the book (which we’ll send to you immediately in an e-book downloadable format and, if you live in our area, can send to you in a plain white envelope to the spouse safe address you provide), you can also opt in to receive our custody e-course, which is full of even more tips and tricks, all written for you by our licensed and experienced Virginia custody attorneys. (But you’ll have to request the book to opt in to receive the e-course!)
2. If you’re planning on hiring an attorney, request a copy of our free book, The Women’s Guide to Selecting an Outstanding Family Law Attorney.
A great next step is to request one of our other free books, “The Women’s Guide to Selecting an Outstanding Family Law Attorney.” Even if you aren’t planning on hiring an attorney, it has helpful tips and tricks for you if you’re planning on DIYing your way through the custody process, so it’s an especially helpful book. (It even includes a scorecard you can use as you meet with and compare family law attorneys!)
3. Request a free copy of our report, “Can I REALLY Represent Myself in a Custody Case?”
Wondering if you can really handle your own custody case? You’re not alone. And you’re right to ask yourself before things start heating up, so that you can make the best decision possible when it really matters.
Find out what’s involved in representing yourself in a custody case, and whether or not that’s something you can reasonably plan to do. Request a free copy of our report now by clicking here.
4. Attend Custody Bootcamp for Moms, our moms only seminar designed to help explain the intricacies of the custody process at the juvenile court level.
Whether you’re planning on representing yourself or just want more information about how custody cases are handled, Custody Bootcamp for Moms is a must attend seminar. It’s led by Kristen Hofheimer, and teaches you the ins and outs of custody cases at the juvenile court level in Virginia Beach. It also includes heavy emphasis on what to do if you’re representing yourself. At Custody Bootcamp for Moms, you’ll learn:
• How to give killer opening and closing arguments;
• When to sit and stand and how to address the judge;
• What to wear and how to behave in the courtroom;
• All about the critical best interests of the child factors (you MUST discuss them, and the judge MUST listen, so you have to get it right);
• How to question and cross examine witnesses;
• How to survive being questioned and cross examined yourself;
• How to work with a custody evaluator or a guardian ad litem;
• And so much more!
There’s no other seminar of it’s kind in Virginia, and certainly nothing similar offered for dads! For more information about Custody Bootcamp for Moms, click here.
5. Meet with an attorney.
Obviously, meeting with a family law attorney is probably going to be your last step. Once you’ve taken the time to review and gather the information needed to make a decision about whether you should represent yourself in the juvenile court, the next logical step is to talk with someone about your choices. Whether or not you decide to work with an attorney in your case, it’s a good idea to talk strategy one on one with an attorney who has been there and handled cases similar to yours.
Our attorneys handle family law cases exclusively, so our firm may be a good place to start. For more information about any of our programs, books, free reports, seminars, or to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed and experienced Virginia divorce and custody attorneys, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200.