If you’re up against a custody case, or custody battle as it often becomes, it is essential to compile all of the evidence you can that will demonstrate that you are the more responsible parent. Speak with your attorney about the evidence and make sure that it will become part of the court’s documentation. The more evidence you have that shows irresponsibility on the other parent’s part and his or her lack of parenting abilities, the better chance you have of being awarded custody.
You can gather evidence by taking photographs of child neglect or physical abuse by the other parent. Photographic evidence can be very persuasive and back up your claims or accusations. Also, keep a log or journal. Date each page and make a detailed record of events regarding your child. Jot down any incidents of neglect that the child encounters at the hands of your ex. Don’t forget to record all the wonderful and positive stuff the two of you do together to show a different perspective. If the child offers information regarding how the other parent treats him or her, include that as well. Keep in mind that any information about food, bath time, clothes, school, etc. will reflect how the child is being cared for. Be sure to record times and dates of any visitation. Talk with your closest relatives or friends. Some of them may have a good perspective of the situation, and they may be willing to go to bat for you in the courtroom.
Written evidence should be kept in a safe place. School reports, doctor’s notes, or a counselor’s suggestions need to be placed there. Don’t destroy or shred them, especially if they pertain to your child’s health and well-being. Items like children’s clothes that show signs of abuse (such as blood stains, rips or tears) should also be preserved. Remember, the safety and well-being of the child is the most important thing. You don not want to overlook signs of abuse or neglect. Evidence that shows how irresponsible the other parent is at paying bills, holding down employment or a former juvenile delinquent is better left unsaid. Those things do not directly show abuse or neglect. Gather hard evidence that will support your claims and stand out in court. Evidence such as drug or alcohol abuse is always important, especially if it impacts the child in some shape or form. Domestic violence is also important evidence, as it shows the court that the child may be in serious danger.
Don’t lie or fabricate stories. Planting evidence if the other parent is a responsible individual will come back to haunt you. Not only will it reflect badly on you and your judgment, it is also considered a criminal offense. Be honest and upfront. Custody cases are solemn matters. You have the potential of not seeing your child if you do not take the matter seriously. Do everything you can to show how much you love and care for your children, and that you have their best interests at heart.