Over time we have discussed many aspects to what leads to success in a child custody case. All of these various ingredients are important. But there is one key ingredient that is often under utilized in a custody case. That is the importance of collateral witnesses.
Collateral witnesses are the recipe for success. Why? It’s because of their perceived value of input. Now when we discuss collateral witnesses we aren’t talking about grandma or grandpa or uncle Johnny or Aunt Susie. No, we aren’t talking about biased family members. We are talking about true, objective collateral witnesses. That is the key to this recipe.
How do you find such witnesses? Consider the following types of witnesses that can add real value toy our custody case: teachers, school counselors, principals, coaches, youth pastors, neighbors, doctors, dentists, etc. Any place where your child frequently interacts usually gives rise to the creation of objective witnesses.
The reason such witnesses are important is because for two reasons. First, these witnesses will be perceived as “neutral.” Judges are used to parties coming in to court and saying bad things about each other. However, if a person who is not hired by you, not a relative of yours and really has no “dog in the fight” comes in on your behalf that increases the witnesses credibility and value. Second, courts need such witnesses to testify about the details of a child’s life. Details about how the child is doing in their daily routines is an important consideration when determining the best interest of the child.