Entering a custody battle is not what most people strive to do. It is certainly not one of the most enjoyable things one can participate in. However, if you find yourself suddenly involved in a custody battle, it is important to gather essential evidence to support your case. Solid evidence for a custody battle is imperative as well as knowing what evidence can be used against you. Custody factors that affect custody cases are the parent’s active involvement, the current physical custody schedule, living situations, willingness to co-parent, mental instability, domestic violence, substance abuse, and neglect to name a few.
It’s never too early to begin collecting evidence. Even if things are “going well” between two separated parents, chances are they won’t end well. I have seen couples that start off agreeing during the initial divorce proceedings and saying that they will “never be one of the divorced couples that end up hating one another,” but somewhere along the way things start going astray, feelings get hurt and suddenly things aren’t so hunky-dory anymore. So, my advice is, even if things are going along well, always be prepared for them to not end so well. Start gathering evidence right from the beginning. Screenshot text messages, social media posts, emails. Devote a planner or a journal for evidence-gathering purposes only. Document your involvement and daily activities with your child and any incidences or ill behavior by the other parent. Another piece of advice while evidence collecting is to stick to pertinent information regarding the child custody battle. The courts don’t appreciate irrelevant information that has nothing to do with custody and the best interest of the child. Judges don’t look too kindly upon time wasters.
As I mentioned earlier, keeping copies of your communication and correspondence with the other parent is critical. In addition to those mentioned above, voicemails, photographs, schedules such as missed visitations or missed opportunities to see the child. Medical, school, and financial records are also great pieces of evidence.
Gather, document, and file. Organization is key. In addition to screenshots of digital communication, I also recommend printing the screenshots or at a minimum saving them to your computer. You don’t want to have the information only saved in one place and then have something happen to your key evidence.
Witnesses are another good form of key evidence for a judge to determine custody. Anyone that can speak to your character as a parent such as your child’s teacher, coach, daycare providers, your co-workers, neighbors, and others that can attest to your parenting skills. Be prepared to provide your attorney with the names and contact information during the early stages in the case to allow us ample time to interview witnesses and prepare.
Ultimately, the courts will make the decision based on the best interest of the child. The only way they can do this is by the evidence presented to them.
Your children are a precious gift and you need to protect them. One of the ways to do this is to assure you receive proper legal counsel. Kevin Hickey Law Partners will help you effectively gather evidence that supports your case and properly organize it for court proceedings. Knowing what is needed on the front end improves negotiation position and maximizes efficiency in building a strong custody case. Also, knowing when to show your cards and when to hold them. The timing of revealing your evidence is also important. Revealing it too soon allows the other parent and his or her counsel plenty of time to prepare a counter-strategy. Our expertise allows us to know when to reveal information and develop a strategy. If you are currently in a custody battle and aren’t quite sure where to start or if you feel that one is imminent, contact Kevin Hickey Law Partners today.
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