Evidence Essentials

Having solid evidence for a custody battle is vital for a father to prevail in family court. Fathers need to know how to effectively gather evidence that will support their case, what evidence could be used against them, and how to properly organize it for their attorney and court proceedings. 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.

Start Now

It’s imperative that you start collecting as early as possible before opportunities are lost and events are forgotten. Start a daily journal, documenting your involvement and daily activities with your child and any concerning incidences or behavior exhibited by the other parent.

Make it Credible

For your evidence to be deemed admissible by the Family Courts, it must be material and relevant. 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.

Types of Evidence

Keeping copies of your communication and correspondence with the other parent is crucial. 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. Diligently gather, document and file this information the moment you have concerns that custody could be disputed.

Witnesses on the stand

Witness testimony can assist the Judge in determining the legitimacy of said claims and allegations in a child custody case. The most influential testimonies come from an unbiased witness that has personal or expert knowledge of both the child and the parents. Start making a list of potential witnesses, such as Daycare providers, Teachers, Medical Practitioners, co-workers, or neighbors. It is important to provide your attorney with the names and contact information of your witnesses early on in your case to offer sufficient time for preparation or necessary interviews.

A Child’s Best Interest

Your evidence must demonstrate that awarding you custody of the child is actually in the child’s best interest. The criteria Family Court Judges use when determining an appropriate custody arrangement is commonly referred to as the “Custody Factors”. Custody Factors express the most common concerns of Family Court.

Custody Factors & Your Strategy

When developing your case’s strategy, gather evidence that is relevant to the Custody Factors and effectively supports your pleadings.

Example Custody Factors:

  • Parent’s Active Involvement
  • Current Physical Custody Schedule
  • Living Situation and Standards
  • Willingness to Co-Parent
  • Mental/Emotional Instability
  • Domestic Violence
  • Substance Abuse
  • Neglect

Common Mistakes

Do not move out of the family’s primary residence without consulting an attorney. Family courts could consider this move as abandonment and it can be used against you and your case. Moving out of the family’s primary residence during a custody dispute could impact visitation, alimony, or child support. You cannot be forced to move without a court order.
Presenting yourself as the difficult parent will not sit well with the Judge. While maintaining a healthy boundary, demonstrate your flexibility and willingness to work with the other parent. Exhibiting a willingness to co-parent is an essential Custody Factor recognized by today’s Family Court system.
Online activity available for public viewing, such as Facebook or Twitter posts, can reveal quite a bit about a person’s behavior and lifestyle. If you are in a custody dispute, use extreme caution when publicly posting statements or media on a social networking site. Information on these platforms can be easily misconstrued. Assume that any of your online activity can be recorded.
Timing is essential when reavealing evidence. 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. It’s imperative that you know what to include in your court pleadings and when to reveal information, depending on your strategy.
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Get the Winning Child Custody Guide Book

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. Missteps during this process can cost you time with your child or even jeopardize your role as a father. If custody over your child is being disputed, every step must be documented. Learn effective strategies for protecting your equal rights as parent and conveying your commitment to your child.
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