1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Win Child Custody: Bring the Right Documents to Your Child Custody Hearing

Tips to Help You Win Child Custody


Woman holding folders, close-up
Barry Yee/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

It's difficult to determine what documents are important and relevant enough to bring to child custody hearings. Here is some information about documents you should bring to all child custody hearings to help you win child custody:

Phone Call Logs

Both parents should keep a diary of all phone call logs made between the child and the child's parent. The phone call log should include:

  • When phone calls occur
  • How long the calls last
  • Frequency of phone calls (i.e. nightly, weekly, bi-weekly)

Parents should bring the phone call logs to court as evidence of continuous contact between the parent and the child. On the other hand, if one parent is attempting to disprove the other parent's claim of continuous contact, that parent should also keep a log and bring it to the court hearings as well.

Visitation Schedule

In addition to phone call logs, parents should keep a log of visitation between the child and the child's non-custodial parent. A visitation schedule log should include the following:

  • When the visits occur
  • Where the visits occur
  • How long the visits last
  • Frequency of visits (daily, weekly, bi-weekly)

A non-custodial parent may utilize this information in court to prove a continuous and meaningful relationship with the child, while a custodial parent might use a log of visitation schedules to prove the lack of a continuous relationship between the child and the child's non-custodial parent.

Proof of Child Support Payments

Although, the decision of whether a parent has or has not paid child support is not determinative of a child custody award, some courts may give strong consideration to child support payments as proof of a meaningful relationship with a child and a parent's ability to provide for the child.

If parents have a formal child support agreement, the non-custodial parent should be prepared to present proof of regular child support payments in court. If the parent has supported the child in other ways, such as purchasing clothing or providing child care services, the non-custodial parent should provide receipts in court to assist the parent in winning child custody.

For more information about relevant documents pertaining to child custody, speak with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction. In the event a parent is confused about which documents to bring to court, additional documentation never hurts.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.