Witnesses at a Child Custody Hearing
When custody is in dispute, each parent will need to present evidence to a judge showing why they deserve custody. There are many types of helpful evidence, such as medical or school records. However, witness testimony makes up the bulk of evidence that a judge considers.
In this article, we highlight the key categories of witnesses. Talk with your Media child custody attorney to determine who exactly you should be calling to the stand to help you make your case.
Teachers and Child Care Providers
One key factor a judge will consider is your current and past relationship with your child. If it is strong and loving, you have a good chance of obtaining custody. By contrast, if your relationship with your child is strained, then a judge is less likely to award you custody.
You definitely will want witnesses who have seen you interact with your child regularly. Teachers and daycare providers are excellent witnesses. Although you might think friends and family are ideal witnesses, judges might discount their testimony slightly because of your relationship. By contrast, a teacher or childcare worker should be objective.
When might you use family members? In some situations, a family member might have been the only witness to an incident. If the other parent slapped your child and your sister saw it, you might want to use her as a witness.
Another good family witness is someone who is related to the other parent. If your ex’s mother wants to testify about how your ex is a terrible parent, then a judge might find this witness very credible.
Parent of a Half Sibling
If you had a child with someone else, this person could be a witness. They can testify as to how well you have parented your children. They can also testify as to your personal qualities.
Doctors and dentists can testify about your child’s health and whether you have regularly scheduled and attended appointments. A judge wants to know how healthy your child is and whether you are meeting his or her needs.
Medical providers might also provide testimony about your own health or the other parent’s. For example, a judge will want to know whether you are in declining health. If you are an older parent, it is vital that you show that you are physically fit and not someone about to go into the hospital. If you have had a substance abuse problem, you also want to establish that it has not permanently impaired you.
Therapists, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists
These witnesses can offer an expert opinion about each parent’s mental health. If you have had mental health problems, they can also testify to how well you are treating it.
Questions about Custody? Contact Us
Child custody disputes are never easy, but with the right attorney in your corner you can increase your odds of a favorable resolution.
Give Barbara Flum Stein & Associates a call. One of our Media child custody lawyers is available to meet with you for an initial consultation.