Gathering Evidence for Your New Jersey Child Custody Hearing

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 04, 2023 | 0 Comments

Every parent who appears before a judge in a child custody matter expects the court to believe that they are most capable of providing a safe and nurturing environment for their child(ren). Although personal testimony can be moving, extrinsic objective evidence about your positive parenting skills or your ex-partner's flaws will make your plea that much more convincing. So how important is evidence in child custody battles? Extremely. The New Jersey Court system takes child custody and wellness matters very seriously. The more evidence you can present to the court, the more confident they will feel placing your child under your legal and physical supervision. Below we'll discuss the best way you can prepare for success at your child custody hearing.

Have a Game Plan

A divorce or separation comes with a great deal of change. You may be facing relocation challenges as well as arguments about the division of property and, especially, your children. With so much chaos, it's easy to neglect day-to-day tasks that require organization. However, scrambling at the last minute to gather evidence will not be beneficial for your mental well-being or the strength of your case. If you feel lost on where to start, our skilled Family Law Team can help you by suggesting what documents you will need to start gathering and the best way to organize them. Helpful tools such as DropBox, iCloud, or OneDrive can be easy ways for you to access old documents and organize incoming information.

What's Relevant, What's Not?

As with any legal question, the answer is “It depends.” Every custody battle will have unique considerations that a court must evaluate that are specific to your child's needs. That being said, the categories of evidence addressed below are routinely a part of the divorce and custody process.

Photographs And Videos

Although you will likely tell the court that you have a strong bond with your child, it is another thing for them to see this. Photographs of you two together at their activities, with family, or doing hobbies together demonstrate your capacity to provide a nurturing environment for them.

Evidence of neglect or abuse can also be helpful. In instances where your custody battle involves allegations of domestic violence, drug use, neglect, etc., photographic evidence can add credibility to your claims. For instance, photographs of injuries or environmental messes and dangers can be helpful if you are arguing that your ex-partner is abusive or neglectful of your child.

Academic And Health Records

The court will want to review your child's academic and health records. Be sure to track and retain your child's school records, such as attendance records, report cards, test scores, and disciplinary comments, as well as correspondence with their teachers and service providers.

Similarly, the court will also want to consider your child's unique emotional and medical needs. Keep track of vaccination records, treatment plans, annual checkups, counseling services, etc.

In instances where you are the primary parent responsible for attending to your child's educational and medical needs, your record-keeping abilities will only convince the court that much more of your parenting skills and dedication.

Witness Statements

Although it's never fun to drag family, friends, or acquaintances into our relationship issues, objective statements can help the court understand how the outside world views your child as well as their needs. Has a family member witnessed any violence? Does your child's therapist have any recommendations? Do coaches or neighbors see how differently your child responds to you versus your partner? All of these statements can help. Work with our Family Law Team to brainstorm about what witness statements will be beneficial to your case.

The Family Law Team At The Lento Law Firm Is Ready For Your Call!

Preparing for a New Jersey custody battle can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Nothing is more important than your relationship with your child during this time. Our dedicated and compassionate Family Law Team can help alleviate your stress and strategically prepare for your family's future. Contact us at any time by calling (888) 535-3686 or by using our online contact form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.