If you are fighting for custody, the day will come when you will have your final hearing. To truly win custody and prove you are the better parent, you will need to present lots of convincing evidence in court. Sadly, your personal testimony weighs very little with the judge. So what evidence do you need, and how should you present it in court? Here are my five suggestions for showing good evidence in court.
1. Evidence in Court: Testimony from Key Witnesses
More so than your family or friends who have come to support you, key witnesses are an important element of your case. Witnesses such as your case worker, if you won the recommendation from the social study, the school’s attendance clerk, if your Ex is having trouble getting Johnny to school, or your child’s pediatrician, if your Ex is having trouble keeping up with the shot records. These are key witnesses. Your father who is going to testify that you are a super parent, or your new girlfriend who going to say “You are best Dad ever!” are not.
2. Evidence in Court: Your Daily Journal & Notes
We as a society, give much more credibility to documentation and those who routinely take notes. Two parents can give a verbal testimony to what happened at an exchange. Or excellent parent with written notes can refresh his memory and show better proof. The parent with a day planner, with daily entries can say…
“Written in my notes, on February 6, 2016 at 10:13a, at the McDonald’s on Hwy 360 and Pioneer Road, my Ex driving her green Ford Explorer, license plate XFD-567, cussed me out and grabbed Johnny on the right arm. Then she dragged Johnny to her vehicle and left before the police could arrived.” Which parent would you believe?
3. Evidence in Court: Calendars
As we stated previously in Documenting Time with Your Kids, calendars much like journals and notes, provide another way to visually explain the time with your kids. Calendars are great evidence to perhaps also show weeks that your Ex has denied visitation. I kept a calendar by the phone and tracked all denied visits and court related problems with my Ex. Before my day in court, I went to a teacher store and bought to 5’x3′ calendars to present in court. Visual evidence is excellent testimony.
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4. Evidence in Court: Flip Charts
Again like calendars and notes, if there is a frequency problem, perhaps presenting it in a graph would speak higher volumes than saying my Ex denied me 43 visits in 2001. Showing that information graphical is excellent.
5. Evidence in Court: Photo Albums
For all the evidence you could possibly present in a custody case, I believe having kid centric photo albums are the most influential evidence you could present. Seeing 100s of pictures of you being a Dad to your kids is extremely hard to argue with. Having picture evidence of what you do with your kids while your Ex testifies you don’t do anything, speaks volumes to the judge.
Talk and coordinate with your attorney, but preparing good evidence is the lion’s share of your job. These are just a few of the way you can present evidence in court for your child custody hearing.
What evidence did you present in court? What other ideas would you add?
Images from my own court case and DollarPhotoClub.com