Pennsylvania child custody

Involved in a Pennsylvania Child Custody Dispute? Document everything!

In this article, I write about the importance of documentation for those involved in a Pennsylvania child custody dispute.

There are many reasons why Pennsylvania child custody matters are very different than your run-of-the-mill legal dispute.  One of the prime reasons is the lack of physical evidence.  In a contract dispute, there is generally a contract and business records available to the Court. Likewise, in a personal injury case, there are medical records.  However, in custody matters, typically the most important evidence submitted to the Court is testimony by the parties.  Testimony regarding parenting ability, the condition of the parties’ homes, and so forth.

The credibility of a person’s testimony in a custody hearing is determined by a judge.  Accordingly, it is of the utmost importance to be a credible witness.  So how do you become a credible witness?  Telling the truth is a good start.  But even when the truth is on your side, your testimony must be presented in a convincing way to be found credible.  In my opinion, the best way to make sure your testimony is deemed credible is for it to be as accurate as possible.

Document the Facts

For example, let’s say your ex’s home is a pig sty. In this instance, don’t just tell the Judge that the house is a dirty mess.  You want to be able to recite specific examples of how its dirty.  Dishes always piled up in the sink, garbage strewn about, the presence of insects, etc. Similarly, if your ex disparages you in front of your child, you want to be able to point to specific statements made on specific dates at specific times.  The more accurate and descriptive your testimony the more credible you will appear.

The best way to ensure that you will recall the details necessary to become a credible witness is to document the occurrences as soon as possible after they occur.  Also make sure you are saving and printing out all of the emails and texts messages exchanged with your ex or any other person you speak to regarding any custody issues.  All of this documentation will then be available for your review prior to your hearing and allow you to recall specific instances with greater detail and make you appear to be a credible witness.

If you have questions about a Pennsylvania custody dispute, contact the attorneys at Mobilio Wood today!


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