A key element of child custody cases is testimony by witnesses, according to "Child Custody A to Z" by Guy J. White. When preparing for a child custody hearing, you need to not only consider which witnesses to call, but also to prepare for the likely lines of questioning these individuals will face.
An important consideration for a court considering child custody is which parent has historically served as the primary caretaker for the child. This represents a primary focus in the presentation of evidence in a child custody case. Witnesses are questioned about their personal knowledge regarding which parent provided the bulk of care for the child in question during the course of the marriage or other relationship.
Witnesses in child custody disputes face questions about the type and location of residences maintained by the parents. This line of questioning includes considerations of whether there is ample space in the property for a child, the general make-up of the neighborhood--including school locations--and whether anyone else resides at the premises at the present time with the parent.
Although not definitive issues in child custody cases, the court is concerned about the types of personal relationships maintained by each parent. This includes a consideration of any intimate relationship involving one or another of the parents. Witnesses face questions not only about the existence of such relationships but more detailed requests for information about the history of any individual with whom a parent maintains close connections.
Health of All Parties
Witnesses in child custody proceedings routinely face questioning about the physical and mental health of both parents and the child. Witnesses are questioned only about their personal knowledge regarding these types of issues and cannot be called upon to testify as experts, unless they are medical professionals involved in the care and treatment of a parent or the child.