blcprc wrote: How should I prepare myself for a custody trial? How do they work? Should I go in there and discredit my stbx, as I know these will be her intentions! Or should I go in with the intentions to tell the judge that I am a good father, I can do this, I have been doing this?
What does a judge want to hear?
Do not go in and go on about how bad the ex is. Judges don't want to hear this as it generally has no relevence to child custody.
Focus on the kids. Bring in your journal for parenting time. How many days did you have them? In general, what did you do? Get notes and letters from the kids service providers (school, doctor, dentist, coaches etc) that state you've been there for the kids and are a fixture in their lives.
The ex will give a huge long list of how bad you are. A blanket statement that you deny any allegations of incompotence and that without any specific evidence to prove otherwise, you wish such allegation struck. It buts the onus on her to prove her allegations, which she likely won't be able to.
But anyway, stay kid focused. Meet with teachers, and journal your time with the kids. It is a far more successful method.