Tips for Surviving a Cross-Examination in a Child Custody Hearing (Part A)The most distressing part of Virginia child custody disputes is arguably the trial. If you are nervous about your upcoming trial, you are not the first. To guide you through your trial, it would be in your best interest to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who understands women's issues in Virginia.
It is important that the Virginia divorce lawyer you choose has handled cases similar to yours and that they understand the ins and outs of Virginia child custody.
Though a Virginia divorce lawyer is a valuable asset, there is one element of the trial of which your attorney cannot take complete control: the cross-examination.
What is a cross-examination?
In its most basic form, a trial consists of 3 main parts; opening statements, presentation of evidence and closing arguments. The bulk of your Virginia child custody hearing will be in the presentation of evidence through witness testimony. As a primary witness in your own child custody dispute, you will likely have to testify.
When you are brought to the stand, you will be questioned by both your own attorney and by the opposing attorney. The set of questions asked by your Virginia divorce lawyer is known as the direct examination, in which your attorney will ask you who, what, when, where, why, and how questions with the purpose of allowing you to tell your side of the story.
The set of questions asked by the opposing attorney is known as the cross-examination. The cross-examination is designed to trip you up, frustrate you, and/or confuse you. A cross-examination is an opportunity to make you appear an unfit parent for your child. It is of incredible importance that you do not allow this to happen; the testimony of parents is a central factor for most judges in Virginia child custody decisions.
However, with the proper preparation from your Virginia divorce lawyer, you can face your cross-examination with confidence and courage; you need only remember 3 simple concepts. The second part of our article details how to best prepare for a cross-examination.
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