To petition for child custody, it is important to learn the state procedures, rules and requirements for the process, claims Anna Green for LegalZoom. Individuals must submit a formal petition for child custody and provide any information required by the state. The court assigns a hearing date to finalize the case.
Each state has different procedures and requirements in petitioning for child custody, states Green. Most of the information and rules regarding the process is available online, in law libraries or through attorney consultation. Individuals submit a formal petition document to the court. It is also possible to purchase custom custody petitions from document preparation services.
The information required on the petition varies depending on the state, but most states require information about both parents and the child, explains Green. The petition should include each parent's full name, date of birth, relationship to the child and address. In addition, the child's full name, date of birth and address must also be listed.
Once the petition is submitted to the court, applicants must wait for the hearing date, according to Green. Individuals are expected to provide evidence that shows ability to care for the child. Judges often look for proof the adult is mentally fit and able to provide a safe home for the child. The custody determination is available after the hearing date.