Adapted from "Your Civil War: A Father’s Guide To Winning Custody"
One of your greatest challenges is gathering witnesses that can be used to your advantage in court to testify how great of a dad you really are.
Why are witnesses important?
It is very difficult for a judge to ignore the testimony of a dozen witnesses who say you’ve never missed a soccer game or a recital since they’ve known you.
In building your case, these people will be able to attest to your ongoing and dedicated relationship with your children. You are fighting for your right to continue being involved in your children’s lives.
So which witnesses should you use?
Your input is essential here. Your attorney does not know the relationships you have with potential witnesses and in what situations they have seen you around your children. You need additional voices to make that picture as vivid and credible as possible.
Witnesses you choose need to be credible, articulate, neat and sincere. They also need to have been around both you and your spouse a lot, particularly in the home environment so grandparents and relatives can be utilized.
School employees, such as teachers and counselors, coaches and Scout leaders are often credible witnesses who can discuss the level of participation and interest of each parent.
How many witnesses should you have?
It is usually better to have too many witnesses than too few, though the time allotted in court could limit the number you can call. Some courts, typically found in urban areas, put time constraints on child custody trials with which you must present your entire case.
Even if the court does not impose time limitations, judges expect you to not waste the court’s time with minutiae and marginally relevant evidence.
A capable divorce lawyer will often have more witnesses present than will be called to testify and will be able to decide which witness is needed as the trial unfolds.
This divorce article is adapted from DadsDivorce.com founder Joseph E. Cordell's book "Your Civil War: A Father’s Guide To Winning Custody." Please visit the DadsDivorce.com store to order your copy of this invaluable resource to aid you in your child custody case.