Preparing for a Custody Dispute

Often times, when parents decide to go their separate ways, minor children are involved. The issues of which parent is going to make major decisions for the children, i.e., legal custody, and how much time each parent spends with the children, i.e., physical custody, need to be resolved. If you find yourself in this situation, it would be a good idea to start gathering the following documents:

  1.  Report cards, attendance records, and teachers’ notes.
  2. Cards, drawings, and sample photos.
  3. Documentation showing you have provided the children with food, clothing, medical care, education, and other necessities as much as or more often than the other parent, i.e., calendars, receipts, notes setting appointments, attendance at school events, notes regarding day-to-day parenting, etc.
  4. Documentation of abuse or neglect, i.e. photos, police reports, DHS records, medical records, etc.
  5. Character evidence of third parties the other parent exposes the children to, i.e., social media posts and photos, profiles on dating websites, pending lawsuits, background checks, etc.
  6. Relevant text messages and e-mails to and from the other parent.
  7. Each parent’s work schedule.
  8. Medical records if the child has a condition that is relevant in determining which parent should make medical decisions and how much time each parent should spend with that child.