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Gathering the right paperwork for a child custody hearing

In some cases, a parent can win a child custody hearing by knowing what types of evidence to bring. When a case begins, each side will have the opportunity to state their position in writing. If the other parent initiates the case, an individual will have the right to see exactly what he or she is using as the basis to do so. Including as many documents as possible can be helpful in making a good first impression with a judge.

Ideally, an individual will include phone logs, a copy of the visitation schedule and medical records. This can show that a parent takes an active role in a child's upbringing. It can also be used to show that a child is frequently injured or otherwise in harm's way with the other parent. Bringing a child's report card to court may imply that a child does better in school when in that person's care.

Parents may want to request that a professional meet with the child and tour the homes of each parent. In some cases, a custody evaluation will be ordered by the judge. This may make it easier for the court to determine what is in the child's best interest when making a custody ruling. It is possible that multiple meetings or home tours will take place until the matter is resolved.

When creating a custody or visitation ruling, a judge must do what is in the best interest of the child. This might mean that a parent gets sole custody with the other receiving visitation rights. It may also mean that parents split physical and legal custody of the children. An attorney might help a parent gather documents or take other steps needed to show that he or she deserves custody or significant parenting time.

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