Solid evidence of your positive parenting skills or your ex-partner's parenting mishaps can significantly impact the outcome of your child custody battle. As with any matter, each legal matter is determined on a case-by-case basis, and evidence is key. The following suggestions will help you zero in on what documents, photographs, and notes you should collect to demonstrate your ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for your child(ren).
Organizing Now Will Lead To Less Stress Later On
If you are going through a divorce or just separating from an ex-partner, you are likely dealing with several life transitions at the same time. New living arrangements, division of property, and even friends can all drastically affect your day-to-day life. Aside from the major life transitions, the stress of gaining custody of your child is likely one of the most emotionally challenging things you have ever faced. With all the chaos, it's important to stay as organized and grounded as possible.
Because family law matters involve a great deal of evidence, your attorney will need access to any and every piece of evidence that affects your parenting abilities. Rather than stress yourself out by waiting until the last moment to hunt down these documents, we suggest setting up a system to help organize and store all of the important documents you have and continue to receive. You can easily create different folders on your phone or inbox, such as “text messages,” “school records,” “bank statements,” or “medical records,” and share these documents with your attorney.
Focus On Relevant Content
Many clients are surprised to see the depth of information the court needs to access in custody battles. Although the process can feel invasive, our Family Law Team can patiently walk you through what types of documents, notes, and records will be most beneficial.
Photographs And Videos
Photographs and videos help provide a glimpse into your child's life. If your ex-partner has ever been emotionally or physically abusive towards anyone, including you and your child, try to capture photographic evidence of any wounds, bruises, damage, etc.
The court will also appreciate seeing the type of bond you share with your child. If you routinely take them to classes or activities, capture these moments! This can also include any special outings or hobbies that reflect your close bond.
Medical And School Records
Medical and school records are incredibly important in child custody hearings because they provide the court with concrete evidence about your child's educational and physical well-being. Is your child frequently tardy or absent while under the care of your ex-partner? Are they eating nutritiously while at their house? Do they receive routine medical check-ups?
Focus on collecting relevant medical documents, vaccination records, dental records, doctor notes, etc. Contact your child's school to request their attendance records, report cards, disciplinary records, as well as any other type of document or communication that provides insight into their well-being.
Witness Testimonies And Affidavits
Statements from friends, families, neighbors, therapists, coaches, etc., who can vouch for your parenting abilities can also be extremely helpful. Although our Family Law Team can help walk you through what people you should consider, try to focus on people who routinely witness your interaction with your child or can speak to your stability or growth as a parental figure.
We're Here To Help!
Preparing for a child custody matter can be a daunting task during an already difficult season. But with the right documentation, you will be that much more prepared to demonstrate your ability to provide a safe and loving home. Our skilled, experienced, and compassionate Family Law Team at the Lento Law Firm is well-versed in Pennsylvania family law and is standing by to help. Contact us 24/7 by calling (888)535-3686 or by using our online contact form.