Going to Court on Custody is a last resort. Obviously, it is best that you work out a schedule with the other parent. Unfortunately, that does not always happen and you have to go to Court. When this happens, there are certain key documents that you will want to have when presenting your case depending on what the issues are in your case.
Key documents that you will want to present include report cards, attendance records, IEPs if applicable, doctor notes if relevant, therapy notes if relevant. You will also want to have photographs. These photographs will depict your life with your child. Include a photo of your home, your child’s bedroom, your child’s play area, your child playing with friends, family, smiling. You want both your attorney and the Judge to understand what life is like with your child when they are with you. Some people are auditory learners and will love to hear your stories, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. For many, an image of your smiling child at a family outing will reassure a Judge that your child is indeed happy and healthy with you. This is very important as oftentimes Judges hesitate to speak with children unless one parent really presses that issue in the trial. You will also want to have copies of text messages and email exchanges with the other parent if there is a chance that the other parent may forget what they said or if they simply do not tell the truth.
You will also want to write out the reasons you should have custody and describe and address each factor in custody tailored to your case for your attorney and the Judge.
Anything you can think of that will assist someone who is not familiar with your day to day life and your child will be something you will want to bring with you to Court.