California parents who will be attending a child custody hearing may have a difficult time gathering all the necessary documents. Knowing which paperwork will be relevant could swing the hearing in one direction or another. It's better to have too much documentation as opposed to too little.
For custody proceedings to begin, written submissions must be given to the court before the hearing that outline what an individual is asking the court to order. All parties involved should have copies of all the paperwork that is submitted to the court.
A diary of phone calls made between the noncustodial parent and children should be taken to the hearing. This diary would include how often the calls occur and how long the calls last. The diary will show either continuous contact that a parent who doesn't have custody of their child has with their child or the lack of it. A parent who has custody would want to exercise caution with this log since courts will take a negative view of a parent who tries to stop contact between a noncustodial parent and child.
A log of visitation between the noncustodial parent and child should also be brought to the hearing. This log can be used for a noncustodial parent to show that they have a meaningful and continuous relationship with their child. It is also important to bring along records of the child, including the child's report cards and records of doctors visits.
An individual who is requesting custody of their child in court may wish to speak with a family law attorney. The attorney could draw up documents, including visitation schedules. Legal counsel may also represent the client in court, facilitate mediation or advise the client on other things related to divorce and child custody.