There is nothing worse than being in a legal battle regarding who gets to see and care for your child(ren). Usually the battle is with the other parent, but sometimes it is with a grandparent or other family member, or a local child welfare agency. No matter who is involved, this case will make you scared, angry and sometimes feeling completely out of control. Your custody lawyer can help you only if he knows all there is to know about you, your children and the other people involved in the case. You can help him help you by giving him the following information:
Key people. The contact information for
Child’s doctor, dentist and other medical providers
Child’ teacher this year and past year(s)
Child’s principal and school counselor
Caregivers, i.e. babysitters, child care teachers
All people living/frequently staying at any place child stays
Child’s friends/ friends’ parents
Supportive family members
When child is with you
When child is with other parent
When child is with other caregivers
Telephone logs/calls to other parent
Medical records (3 years)
School records (3 years)
Calendar of all visits/calls you have with child
E-mails, letters to and from other adults regarding custody, well-being of child
Information and documents regarding this case and any other custody, divorce or abuse action involving you and/or the other people in this custody case.
In preparing for a custody case it is important that you keep a written record of all visits/communications you have with or about your child and with the other parent or party. Your lawyer and/or your doctor may recommend hiring a child psychologist to do one of the following:
Treat your child
Perform a custody evaluation
Assist you and the other parent in learning how to co-parent
Teach you about your child’s development and needs at all stages of the child’s growth.
The process is long and daunting. With effective communication between you and your lawyer and with focus on what is best for your child, you may be able to resolve the matter at hand.