A lot of time and effort can go into addressing a child custody dispute. And although you may feel a sense of relief with the court issues a custody order, the matter isn’t put to rest. In fact, there’s a significant chance that you’ll end up having to revisit your custody arrangement at one time or another.
But if you find yourself seeking a child custody modification, then you need to know how to present your arguments in a persuasive fashion. After all, this is probably the only way that you’re going to be able to convince a judge that your position supports your child’s best interests.
How to present your modification case
First, consider the basis for your request. Each of the following may be justifications for a modification:
- Exposure to domestic violence
- Parental substance abuse
- Inadequate income to meet the child’s needs
- Child abuse or neglect
- An inability to effectively engage in co-parenting
Once you identify the reason for seeking a modification, then you can focus on gathering the evidence you need to support your position. To obtain this information, look at each of the following:
- Text messages
- Audio and video recordings
- Medical records
- School records
- Police reports
- Witness accounts
- Social media posts
These are just some of the places that you can look for evidence. Remember to be comprehensive in your approach, ensuring that no stone is left unturned when it comes to securing the evidence that you need to support your arguments.
How do you prepare witnesses?
Witness testimony can be crucial to your case. But you don’t want to just throw someone on the stand and expect that they’ll give you and the court the information that you want to convey. You have to ensure that witnesses are thoroughly prepared before heading to court.
To do this, talk to the witness beforehand to gauge any apprehension that he or she may have about testifying. Reminding them that their testimony is about protecting the child’s best interests may be a good way to alleviate some of the witness’s fears. Then, you can talk about the information that the witness has that may be helpful to your case. As you hear what the witness has to say, think about how that can be framed in your legal argument.
You’ll also want to anticipate how the other side is going to question the witness, as effective cross-examination can be devastating to your case. So, talk through the defense’s arguments with your attorney so that you can brainstorm how best to counter those arguments.
Do you need an advocate on your side?
A custody modification hearing can be tense. After all, there’s a lot on the line for all parties involved. You should expect that the other side is going to be fully prepared to litigate their case, and you should be just as prepared, if not more so.
That’s why you may find it helpful to work with an attorney who is experienced in handling child custody cases. One of these attorneys can help you gather the evidence that you need to craft the compelling arguments necessary to persuade a judge.
This assistance can lift a burden from your shoulders and knowing that you have someone on your side willing to fight for what is right can give you peace of mind. So, if you’re interested in having an advocate on our side in your custody dispute, then please consider reaching out to a law firm that you think will represent you best.