how to organize evidence for a custody case

You’re going to testify, the other parent’s going to testify, and then each of the attorney’s is also going to have the ability to cross examine each of you. Some types of documents are implicitly admissible in your divorce or child custody case. 6. This eBook provides clear and concise guidance on how to properly collect and organize evidence for your child custody case and covers the most common concerns of Family Court Judges. (Rule 12-5(31)–(35))) (b) In what order should the witnesses testify? A father’s diligence in collecting evidence can save thousands of dollars, improve their negotiation position, and increase their Attorney’s efficiency in building and representing a strong case for custody. As part of preparing for a child custody hearing, a parent needs to make certain that he or she has obtained appropriate documentation support in support of his or her position regarding a … Gather together photos you can present to the court which depicts your child with you. 6. Domestic Violence – Is there a history of domestic violence in the home? Once you settle on an attorney, the two of you will sit down together, identify the outcome you want, and develop a plan for building your case and presenting it to the court. Interview any potential witnesses who can support your claim or defense. TLDR: custody modification soon what is the best way to organize the evidence for a lawyer/judge to see pertinent details. Keeping copies of your communication and correspondence with the other parent is crucial. Note the times when the other parent denied you visitation, as well as other problems with your child’s other parent. It’s imperative that you know what to include in your court pleadings and when to reveal information, depending on your strategy. If you are in a custody battle, the day will soon come when you will have your final hearing, and the court will decide the custody of the child. ‘relevant’ evidence: Evidence must be considered ‘relevant’ for the court to admit it over objection. As such, your state’s rules of civil procedure will set out the methods of discovery you can use to gather evidence in your child custody case. Fighting with or talking badly about the other parent in front of your children. Learn more about presenting evidence and entering exhibits at your divorce trial. For your evidence to be deemed admissible by the Family Courts, it must be material and relevant. Do not waste the court’s time on issues that have nothing to do with child custody, your child’s well-being, and the best interest of your child. If your custody over your child is being disputed, every step must be documented. The judge decides what evidence can or can't be presented in (shown to) court.. Keep in mind that witness testimonies help the judge determine how legitimate your claims and allegations are in your child custody case. This post is a good refresher. You can't win a custody case simply by telling the judge that you'd be a better parent – you must make factual statements and be able to back them up with concrete evidence. The most influential testimonies come from an unbiased witness that has personal or expert knowledge of both the child and the parents. Why Documentation Is Important Custody proceedings begin with written submissions to the court outlining your position and clearly stating what you are asking the court to order. 2. .. When organizing your evidence for trial, keep these questions in mind: (1) What witnesses do you need to call to prove your case? The more unbiased the witnesses are, the more likely they are to be believed. Whether your witness is willing to appear in court and testify, 4. Learn Your calendar is documentation of how much time you have spent with your child. It is important to note that all of your potential witnesses may not be able to add to your case. Revealing your available or documented evidence to the other parent (and their counsel) is a sure way to expose your custody case’s positioning and strategy. Compile your information by topic in a binder or set of folders, and make sure you have multiple copies of everything you plan to present in court. ©2021 Janet McCullar: Child Custody and Parental Alienation Lawyer. SO shares a child with his ex. It is much like your journal, but it gives you and your family law attorney another tool to use that visually shows the time you spent with your child. However, a parent will have better proof if they have a journal can refer to their written notes, in order to refresh their memory. A guardian ad litem is a third-party attorney or advocate who investigates whether a child's best interests are met by both parents and caretakers. Evidence in Court: Flip Charts. Bring the Right Documents to Court. These dealings are increasingly horrible when you are dealing with said person in a child custody hearing. Parent’s Active Involvement – How involved in your child’s life are you? Nothing can help you track assets and debts or changes in those or give you a bottom line relating to... 3. A trained professional will meet with your child, usually repeatedly, and may visit both parents' homes as well. When you are gathering your child custody evidence, you want to keep the above factors in mind and ensure your evidence is relevant and will support your case. Guardian Ad Litem. Your daily journal may be one of the most important pieces of evidence you have. Your evidence must demonstrate that awarding you custody of the child is actually in the child’s best interest. In order for your evidence to be admissible in court, it has to be relevant to your child custody case. Therefore, you and your family law attorney will dramatically increase your chances of winning your custody case by presenting clear and organized evidence. Show the court a graph of the missed visits if there is a problem with how frequently you are allowed to see your child. Do not forget to add your child’s daycare provider, teachers, and neighbors to your witness list. Research the evidence you intend to bring to court to ensure that it is relevant, factual and supportive of your case. Many litigants try to bring in evidence of their spouse’s affairs or other ‘bad’ behavior. Long story...I’m trying to organize texts for a custody modification case for my SO. However, there are also other kinds of evidence that you may be able to show to the judge to help prove your case. This is only the start! Organize your evidence and information. In most cases, it’s going to be up to you to gather that evidence. Typically, you will need to bring at least three copies of all documents: one for yourself, one for the other parent, and one for the judge. If not, your attorney would explain if there is no merit for your case and why. Make sure your calendar is easily available at any time. Schedules – including any times your child’s other parent had to cancel or reschedule visitation. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. It's the professional's job to report back to the court with a custody recommendation. Article by Custody Struggles. Article from custodysimplified.com. For detailed guidance on how to efficiently gather evidence and develop a winning strategy, read the Evidence Strategies for Child Custody guide book, currently available for purchase. Document visitation disputes or times your child is returned to you late. Current Physical Custody Schedule Already in Place. In order to be prepared in the courtroom on key psychological issues, you need to start building the psychological framework in your case at client intake. Oftentimes, it is not necessary for the court to hear the entire message. What evidence can your witnesses give that will undermine the other party’s case? Don’t waste the Judge’s time with issues that don’t concern custody, your child’s best interests or your child’s well-being. Organizing Your Evidence to Present in Court 1. Family courts could consider this move as abandonment and it can be used against you and your case.   Pretrial Statement. #1 GUIDE FOR COLLECTING EVIDENCE FOR YOUR CASE. Winning a custody battle with a narcissist requires careful planning. Moving out of the family’s primary residence during a custody dispute could impact visitation, alimony, or child support. In a custody trial, a psychological case must be built to help inform the Court regarding the best interests of the child. The Evidence Strategies for Child Custody guide book offers clear direction on how to gather and organize relevant evidence for your case and covers the most common concerns of Family Court Judges. Generally, the most influential evidence comes from witnesses who are not biased and have personal and/or expert knowledge of you, your child, and the child’s other parent. 7. You could even anger the court if you play long messages that are irrelevant. The easiest way to present evidence, and the most common way to present evidence is going to be through testimony. One sure-fire way to impress the judge is to prepare a binder containing all of the exhibits you intend to present in your hearing or trial. Keep in mind that your personal testimony will not carry much weight with the judge. The credibility is a big part of how to win your child custody case, thus your facts must be … The most common types of evidence offered in a child custody case includes witnesses, journals, emails, text messages, voicemails, letters, photographs, videos, audio recordings, schedules, and records such as financial, medical, school and police reports. Missteps during this process can cost you time with your child or even jeopardize your role as a father. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses, 2. 1. 4. Like your calendar and daily journal, this tactic  will have a higher impact on the judge. But, parents can sabotage their chances of custody if they are not careful. By having the judge see hundreds of pictures of you with your children, it is hard to argue that you are not a good parent. A judge might order a custody evaluation in a truly contentious dispute to get to the bottom of things. Place the questions you have prepared and the documents they will be talking about under each name. While maintaining a healthy boundary, demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to work with the other parent. Here is the reason why: Any parent can give an oral testimony about what happened during specific exchanges involving your child. Make a list of the daily things you do to keep your child healthy and happy. Having solid evidence for a custody battle is vital for a father to prevail in family court. Whether your witnesses’ employers will let them take time off work to testify, 5. A strong option to consider as you prepare your child custody case is to ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem. The evidence you want the witness to produce. Before you have to go to court, go to the office supply store and buy a 5’ x 3’ calendar. When making decisions about child custody, the main thing a court is interested in involves doing what is in the best interest of your child. Custody Factors express the most common concerns of Family Court. This practice should include any activities with your child and any behavior or incidences committed by your child’s other parent that cause you concern. Building a Psychological Case in the Courtroom. One definite way to annoy the judge is come to court disorganized, with your papers disorganized, and without sufficient copies of his review. Working Supermom: Child Custody Court Binder --This is VERY smart! Documents and other tangible evidence come in many forms. Start a daily journal, documenting your involvement and daily activities with your child and any concerning incidences or behavior exhibited by the other parent. Information on these platforms can be easily misconstrued. If you believe you are going to be involved in a custody case, it is important to know how to gather and organize any evidence you may need. Alternatively, you and your attorney can work on this list together. Witness testimony can assist the Judge in determining the legitimacy of said claims and allegations in a child custody case. All communication with your child’s other parent, such as emails, text messages, voicemails, and letters, 6. Write all this information on it, and take it to court with you. (a) Do you need to subpoena any of my witnesses? 2. Establish solid facts and organize them logically. […] this, that may help. By R. Brooks If you are like myself and have dealt (or are dealing) with a sociopath in court, you are fully aware of how difficult and exhausting it can be. Gather evidence to support your argument. Evidence the parties present during the case, not evidence against it your personal testimony will not carry weight! A truly contentious dispute to get to the judge maintaining a healthy boundary demonstrate. On the evidence when they make their decision sit well with the judge what... 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January 8, 2021