When you're restructuring your family through a divorce, you have to make a lot of decisions about your home and finances. The most important decisions that you make, however, are about your children. To ensure the courts have all the necessary documents, make sure you bring the following when you meet with your child custody lawyer.
1. Parenting Plan
If you and your ex-partner have a parenting plan right now, bring it to your custody lawyer. They can use this plan to shape your requests to the courts. The plan can also serve as proof of each parent's interest or disinterest in assuming custody of the child.
2. Written Submission
A written submission is a proposal of how you would like the custody arrangement to go. It can include elements such as visitation schedules and financial support. If your divorce is amicable, you and your ex can even draft this together.
3. Evidence of Contact Between You and Your Children
If you don't have custody of your child, gather phone logs or other information to show evidence of contact between you and your child. Evidence of a continuous relationship can be critical if you want to increase your custody. On the flip side, if you want to prove that your ex has limited interest in the child, you can also use the lack of evidence of contact to support your argument.
However, if you believe that your ex is going to argue that you don't contact your child enough, you should be ready to rebut. For instance, you may show proof that the other spouse prevented the child from contacting you or created a wedge between you in other ways.
4. Proof of How Your Child Does While in Your Care
If possible, show the courts how your child thrives while in your care. This can include medical and scholastic records, but it can also include statements from friends or relatives. This type of information can help you argue that you should have custody. Again, however, you can also use proof that the child wasn't thriving at the other parent's home to support your position.
5. Custody Evaluation
Generally, a custody evaluation is only necessary in the case of contentious divorces. A custody evaluation is when an expert supervises you with your child. They create a report that analyzes how you parent. They can do this for both parents if desired.
When you meet with your child custody lawyer, they will tell you what other documents you need. This is the most important aspect of your divorce, and you need to ensure that you have someone in your corner who can help you. To learn more, contact a child custody lawyer.