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How can you build your child custody case?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Child Custody

A child custody dispute can be highly contentious, with each parent thinking they know what’s best for their child. If you’re unprepared to advocate for your position and counter the other parent’s arguments, then the court may side with the other parent, thereby limiting your time with and access to your child. This can be a heart-wrenching, painful outcome that can be difficult to modify. That’s why you have to be fully prepared going into your initial child custody hearing.

But how do you do that? Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to gather the evidence you need to present an effective and persuasive child custody case.

Where to look for evidence to support your child custody case

The specific approach that you take in your child custody case is going to depend on the issues in play. With that in mind, let’s look at some common evidence you can collect to help support your position:

  • Police reports: If you’re concerned about domestic violence or substance abuse in the other parent’s home, then police reports might be a good starting point. This documentation can provide insight into the frequency with which the other parent has contact with law enforcement as well as the circumstance surrounding that involvement. This can help you identify witnesses and determine whether your child has been exposed to violence or substance abuse while in the other parent’s home.
  • School records: Your child needs a home that supports their academic well-being. If your child’s school performance has significantly declined while in the other parent’s care, then you might be able to effectively use that evidence to show that the other parent lacks the commitment and focus needed to ensure your child reaches their educational potential.
  • Mental health records: If you’re child isn’t in some sort of counseling or therapy, then you should consider getting them into care. This can help provide them with coping skills and give them an outlet, and it can also give the court insight into how your child feels about spending time with each parent. Additionally, mental health treatment can identify how the child responds to each parent and their parenting styles, thus giving perspective as to what’s truly in the child’s best interests.
  • Text messages and social media posts: These records can be telling. If they come from the child, then you can see how they feel about spending time with each parent and how certain parenting styles affect their behavior. If these written records are from the other parent, then you can gain a sense of their willingness, or lack thereof, to foster a relationship between you and the child, as well as how they feel about parenting your child. The court will likely find much of this information compelling.
  • Financial records: Although financial positioning shouldn’t play too much of a role in a custody dispute, it can if the other parent isn’t in a position to meet your child’s basic needs.
  • Medical records: If your child has special medical needs, then you’ll want to demonstrate to the court how you’re better suited to meet those needs. Your child’s medical records might show that the other parent has been absent during key appointments.

Remember to keep your child’s best interests in mind in your custody dispute

The court is going to issue an order that it thinks is in the child’s best interests. So, as you build your child custody arguments, make sure you’re being child-focused while addressing what sort of custody arrangement is best suited to meet their needs.