When you and your spouse make the decision to end your marriage, it can be challenging to determine who will retain custody of any children you may have together. Establishing custody can lead to disagreements and arguing, and many couples decide to take their custody battle to court.
If you are preparing for a custody hearing of your own, here are three documents you need to have prepared if you want to increase your chances of winning custody of your children after your divorce is finalized.
1. Call Logs
Once you and your spouse separate, it's important that you keep track of the contact you have with your children. Maintaining a log of each call you place to your children will help you show a judge that you have been making an effort to have continuous contact with your children, and that you are truly interested in retaining custody of your kids once your divorce is finalized.
It can also be helpful to log the calls your spouse makes to your children while they are in your care during a separation. Call logs showing your spouse's failure to keep in contact with your kids could help strengthen your own child custody case.
2. Financial Records
Bringing your financial records with you to a child custody hearing can be beneficial when you are trying to retain custody of your kids after a divorce. You will want to be able to show the judge that you are contributing to the care of your children by providing financial support and purchasing items the children need (like clothing, school supplies, and paying for medical care).
Having your financial records ready for the judge to review will also help you show that you have access to the financial resources needed to retain custody of your kids after your divorce.
3. Character Statements
Collecting statements from your friends, neighbors, church officials, and school officials attesting to your character can be beneficial when you are fighting a custody battle.
Character statements allow the judge hearing your custody case to obtain an outside opinion on your ability to provide adequate care and your ability to act as a role model for your children. These character statements can help shape a judge's opinion of you as a parent in a positive way, improving your odds of retaining custody of your kids once your divorce has been finalized.
Arriving at your child custody hearing with call logs, financial records, and character statements in-hand will ensure that you are prepared to show a judge you are fit to provide custody for your children after a divorce.