When parents cannot agree on a reasonable custody schedule, they must often take their case to court. During the subsequent proceedings, a family law judge will evaluate the situation from all angles in an attempt to determine the best interests of the children involved.
In most cases, the judge will decide the children should maintain some kind of relationship with both parents. As such, most court-ordered arrangements involve some kind of joint dynamic. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight for as much time as possible, however.
Let’s take a look at the kinds of evidence you should be prepared to present so your argument for more time is as compelling as possible:
1. An Outing Log
Record every outing you take your children on in some kind of log, like a digital calendar. You should also make a note of every event you attend, including doctor’s appointments, parent/teacher conferences, recitals, and sports games.
If you have any photographs or video footage of the outings, store them in a safe place alongside the calendar. At the end of the day, the court wants to see that you’re already engaged in your children’s lives and making an active effort to spend as much time with them as possible.
2. Official Documents
There are a number of official documents that may bolster your case, depending on the nature of the dispute. Examples include paystubs, tax returns, tuition statements or daycare invoices, medical records, report cards, and police reports. If you turn to a family law attorney for guidance, they can help you compile all such documents before your court date.
3. Correspondence with Your Ex
Family law judges want to see that parents are willing to cooperate with each other when it comes to raising their children. Regardless of whether your ex has been copacetic, you can demonstrate your willingness to cooperate by presenting text messages, voicemails, and direct messages between you two on the subject of coparenting.
If the situation is especially volatile, your lawyer may advise you to refer all correspondence to them or to at least use an app that limits your conversations to coparenting logistics. Either way, you should eventually amass a detailed log that highlights how you and your ex interact and whether you’re both prioritizing the best interests of the children.
4. Eyewitness Testimony
Sometimes custody cases call for testimony from eyewitnesses. Depending on the disagreements in question, the judge may want to hear from others who saw firsthand what happened. A resourceful legal team should be able to help you find people who are willing to speak on your behalf.
Discuss Your Case with a Child Custody Attorney in Michigan
Are you facing a child custody battle in Michigan? For strategic guidance at every stage of the proceedings, turn to Smith & Johnson
When it comes to family law disputes, we’re determined to advocate for our clients while protecting their best interests, and we always strive to help them secure the best outcomes possible. Call 231-946-0700 or submit our Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a child custody lawyer in Michigan.