When parents in Kansas end their relationships, they must determine the details of child custody. This process does not necessarily require court intervention, but disputes could result in the parents presenting their positions in court and awaiting a custody decision made by a judge. A child custody hearing usually happens when parents cannot agree on a custody arrangement, or one person wants to restrict the other individual's access to a child or children.
A person seeking a court ruling might want restrictions placed on how and when the other parent has contact with a child. In some cases, a parent might attempt to block any contact at all. During the hearing, each individual will have a chance to express concerns to the judge and offer arguments that favor his or her desired outcome. A person would also have an opportunity to respond to any allegations made against his or her fitness as a parent. Depending on their ages, children might testify at the hearing and answer questions about their parents.
A judge will consider the arguments presented by both parents as well as issues like parental location, criminal record or employment. After considering all the factors, a judge will decide whether one person gains full custody or if both parents will share custody. A joint custody decision could grant both parents custodial rights to make decisions regarding a child's care and education.
Although courts do not require people to have lawyers during a child custody hearing, a person might choose to have a legal representative present the case. A lawyer could prepare a response to allegations that jeopardize a person's access to his or her child. This effort could include organizing evidence, like financial records and witness testimony, that illustrates a person's caring relationship with his or her child and the ability to provide physically for his or her kid.