If you have custodial visitation issues with your ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to keep a thorough calendar of who has the child(ren) when. No one can remember every visit or minute details of what happened two or three months ago or the exact dates when things happened. A good calendar/diary type system can solve this problem. Documentary evidence is not only helpful but also very impressive. It can turn the tide in an otherwise dull or dreary case. Try it.
Check Out the Other Side and Their Witnesses on Facebook & Internet
No case is ready for hearing if you have not scoured Facebook, Myspace, and other social network sites for bad behavior from your ex and their witnesses. Do they discuss or suggest involvement in heavy drinking, illicit drugs, illegal behavior, violence, porn, or other activities which would be incompatible with children? If so, print it out and save everything. You can also find helpful information on "local" gossip sites in your community. WhitePages.com has helpful address information if you cannot find someone, and you can even do reverse phone look-ups. GoogleMaps can be helpful getting a look at the area where someone lives and works.
Get School and Medical Records of the Children
Once again, documents are extremely helpful when it comes to scholastic achievement and participation, as well as medical status. Do you have your kids grades? List of tardies and absences? Honors and awards? What does the teacher think about your child? When was the child's last medical appointment? Have they had all their vaccines? Do they have any unusual medical conditions? Who has paid all the medical/dental bills?
Let Your Attorney Know Who Needs to Be Subpoenaed
Your friend wants to come testify for you but cannot get off from work. Don't wait until the day before court to tell your lawyer. Let him know a week or two ahead of time so he can subpoena the witness. Provide him the witnesses' name,address and phone numbers. Likewise, if a teacher, counselor, nurse, etc. needs to testify, then he/she will probably need a subpoena. Provide your lawyer the name, address and phone number, and NOT at the last minute. Courts need warm bodies for testimony. They cannot rely on hearsay. Also, be prepared to pay your attorney for each subpoena since they cost money ($15.00 each in NC). I don't recommend issuing subpoenas for hostile witnesses. Be courteous and don't make a witness show up in the morning for a case that will go all day long and their testimony will not be until late afternoon. Professional people and working people should be out on telephone standby whenever possible to keep them from missing time at work. Teachers really appreciate this.
Record/save Abusive Phone Calls and E-mails and Chats
If the other side likes to curse, threaten, and generally abuse you verbally, be sure to tape record it all. They have no right to act that way, and a judge will want to hear this sort of behavior. Instant message chats and e-mails are also good to print and keep if they contain similar material.
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