When parents in California decide to get a divorce, they tend to be understandably concerned about who will get custody of the children. After all, child custody hearings can be scary, and being prepared for them can make all the difference between getting custody and fighting for visitation.

Individuals who want to maximize their chance of receiving a favorable outcome in a child custody hearing need to show up with all the relevant paperwork. As a matter of fact, it is important that each parent submit his or her documents to court before the hearing as judges tend to review written submissions and familiarize themselves with cases before overseeing them.

People should also be aware of what counts as evidence that can further their case. For starters, phone call logs between the noncustodial parent and the child can play a big role in demonstrating how involved said parent wants to be in the life of his or her child. Ideally, these logs should show the frequency of the calls as well as whether they are phone calls or communication via Skype. Similarly, a visitation schedule can show how committed the noncustodial parent is to being there for the child. At the end of the day, noncustodial parents will have a harder time fighting for custody if they don’t have meaningful relationships with their children. Moreover, having the child’s records included in the submitted documents can indicate how well he or she is faring with his or her current custodial parent, be it academically or physically.

Even though these documents are supposed to show which parent is fitter for child custody, it is often the case that the dispute between both parents becomes so contentious that a judge orders a custody evaluation. Parents can also request that the court order the evaluation if they believe it is in their best interest. In either case, both parents might benefit from reaching out to a professional lawyer who may be able to help them include the necessary documents and guide them in the event of a custody evaluation.