With technology and more access to different information on a faster basis, there is much more evidence available to parties, attorneys, professionals, and trial court judges to use making child custody decisions. These need to be identified as early in the divorce process as possible to be useful.
Custody evaluators and GAL’s can use and rely on evidence that might not be admissible in court. Therefore, it is important to work with your attorney to identify the evidence and determine how it is likely to be used to get into a correct evidentiary format.
- That said, this blog focuses on common evidence that is utilized in child custody cases—or a checklist of evidence of sorts:
- State and federal tax returns.
- Pay stubs (both spouses).
- List of all personal property (a good way to do this is room by room and supplement it with photos).
- Identification of real estate (a title insurance policy, mortgage, picture, address, etc).
- Medical providers and conditions/diagnoses of either party.
- Mental health providers and conditions/diagnoses of either party.
- Criminal records for either party.
- Resumes for either party (work histories).
- Text messages (as it relates to child-matter, such as threats, problems communicating, etc).
- Email messages.
- Audio and video recordings.
- IEP or medical or mental health issues of the children.
- List of witnesses with addresses, phone numbers, email and other contact information and what they know about your case.
These are some of the type of evidence that will help you with your counsel determine the means to meet your legal objectives in your divorce or custody case. Much of this type of evidence applies to all civil cases as it covers the issue at hand (i.e., is relevant to prove or disprove it). However, not identifying the evidence and, if necessary, putting it into admissible format could have a significant negative impact on your case.
We hope you find this blog post helpful. It is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle domestic and other litigation across the State of Indiana. This is for general educational purposes and is not a solicitation for legal representation.