This is the next post in my series helping Las Vegas fathers understand the legal process of asking the court for an emergency change in custody. In my previous post I explained what happens at the initial custody hearing. Frequently the father will be given temporary custody if there is compelling evidence that a mother is unfit. However, temporary custody is just that – temporary. A Judge will decide custody during a trial and in this post I will be explaining the process of discovery and how your attorney will gather evidence to prove your case.
The discovery process is the method one’s attorney may use to obtain evidence from a mother. There are many different types of evidence that your attorney may be looking for to prove your case depending on the circumstances and concerns. For instance, your attorney may ask the mother of your children to produce physical evidence, such as phone records, text messages, health records, or bank accounts. Such records may be used to prove any number of concerns such as abusiveness, drug seeking behavior, health problems that affect competency, or irresponsible behavior.
A second form of discovery is when your attorney sends the mother of your children a list of written questions that the mother is compelled to answer truthfully. These questions (known as Interrogatories) may ask any number of things your attorney believes will provide helpful information. The attorney may ask the mother to describe her parenting practices, answer questions about drug abuse, disclose if she is taking prescribed medications, answer questions about corporal punishment, or even ask questions about specific incidents or events.
A final form of discovery is called a deposition. This is when the mother is compelled to sit for questioning, in person, with the father’s attorney. This is one of the more expensive forms of discovery but it can be an effective form of gathering information as the mother must answer questions ‘on the spot.’ As with the written questions there are few limitations as to what questions an attorney can ask at a deposition. However, the mother being questioned has the right for her attorney to accompany her to the deposition and provide legal advice throughout the process.
If a father is filing for an emergency change of custody, and the mother is fighting the issue, then discovery may be important in protecting your children from a dangerous situation. It is the process by which your attorney will prove that your concerns warrant an abrupt change to the status quo. If you have filed for an emergency custody change, and do not know what to do next, it is important to consult with an attorney immediately. Contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer.