This is the next post in a series addressing child custody cases involving parental drug use in Dayton, Ohio. In the previous article, we discussed the process of requesting a change in child custody with the court. In the context of parental drug use, if the court deems the situation an emergency, it may move quickly to remove the child from danger. This may include removing the child from the custody of the parent suspected of abusing drugs or setting a new temporary custody arrangement until a trial can be held to determine a more permanent custody plan. At the trial, the parties will be required to present objective evidence to the court in support of their respective positions. This post will discuss the legal process for gathering evidence, called discovery, and the importance of discovery in custody cases. If you need assistance with a child custody matter, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Discovery allows for the collection of information in Dayton child custody case
Discovery is a process which allows for the collection of information from the opposing side in a child custody proceeding. A lawyer has many different options in the way that they collect information, including but not limited to, Interrogatories which are a series of written questions that require the opposing party to provide written answers; a Deposition which is the oral testimony of a witness or opposing party taken under oath, under the penalty of perjury, in front of a Court Reporter, and/or a Request for Production is used to have the opposing side produce documents, records, and other physical items. These are just some of the discovery tools available to attorneys.
Discovery is crucial in proving your case if you have filed for a change of child custody. If a Dayton parent wishes to request a change of custody due to the other parent’s use of opioids or other illegal drugs, there are many ways discovery may be used by their attorney to request information regarding the other parent’s use of illegal drugs, including, but not limited to: requesting copies of the other parent’s financial statements which could then be used to see if there are numerous cash withdrawals as well as the amount being withdrawn, requesting medical records, including prescriptions, to determine the frequency of any legally prescribed medications, and/or requesting police reports to see if the other parent has been arrested on any drug related charges. Additionally, a deposition might be held to question the employer of the parent as to whether that parent has ever failed a drug test or been suspected of using drugs while on the job. This information would be presented to the judge and form the basis for the argument that changing custody in the child’s best interest.
Dayton parents should retain an attorney with child custody trial experience
Unlike trials shown on television, objective evidence is gathered and shared well in advance and not presented as a surprise in the courtroom. Unsupported claims will not likely warrant a change in custody. Family court judges will expect each party to be prepared for their trial with concrete evidence gathered through discovery. In addition, the court will strictly enforce rules and procedures, including the rules of evidence, during the process. Failure to follow these rules could result in the exclusion of important facts to the detriment of your case. For these reasons, it is vital to speak to a family law attorney who understands the applicable rules if you are preparing for a custody battle.
Contact our office today to speak with a Dayton child custody lawyer. We also serve the areas of Beavercreek, Centerville, Clayton, Eaton, Englewood, Fairborn, Franklin, Harrison Township, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Lebanon, Miami Township, Miamisburg, Piqua, Riverside, Springboro, Springfield, Tipp City, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, Waynesville, Washington Township, West Carrollton, Yellow Springs, and Xenia.