Child custody trials can be very challenging experiences for every individual involved. After all, they require the court to consider the best interests of a child when moving forward after a divorce case. An important element to remember is that while many professional techniques are used during a child custody battle, no-one really “wins”. Instead, the best arrangement will be suggested based on the unique needs of the child, and the ability of a parent to provide the healthiest upbringing for that child. It is very much preferred for parents to be able to make agreements as to what the custody and parenting time arrangements for their children will be. Trials build the animosity between the parties and thereby are harmful to the children. That being said, custody hearings and trials happen as people involved in a custody battle sometimes cannot or will not settle.
Opening statements represent the start of a custody trial. Often times custody lawyers choose to waive opening statements as the trier of fact in the case is a judge (there are no jury custody trials in New York), not a jury, and the judge most likely would rather proceed to the testimony rather than hearing opening statements. Opening statements are not evidence so a judge might actually appreciate the first witness being called who can provide evidence by their testimony, rather than hearing the musings of the child custody attorneys. Continue reading