Mother had a pendente lite order originally. An issue about the child's education came up and father ended up with

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Customer: Mother had a pendente lite order originally. An issue about the child's education came up and father ended up with custody under an amended pendente lite order. Mother got a lawyer and they motioned to set trial for merit. What does this mean and can father enter new evidence at this trial that was not discovered until father gained custody?
Answered by Nisha Jones in 1 min 1 year ago
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Nisha Jones
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Hello! My name is***** am a family law attorney with Just Answer, and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office. I have a near 100% customer satisfaction rate, and I'll be answering your questions today. Just Answer provides general legal information only and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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Nisha Jones, Expert

I reviewed your question and I'm happy to help. It was a custody order ever previously entered, or has there only been the temporary pendente lite orders so far? Thanks.

Customer
Only temporary pendente lite orders. Hers went into effect in October of 2020 and the amended pendente lite order was just in effect since August 8th of 2021.
Customer
The child is 4 years old if that is important.
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Thanks for the additional information. Are you wondering whether you can submit an amended motion with additional supporting evidence at this time?

Customer
Sort of. Should it be submitted via a motion to enter new evidence, or can it be entered during the trial? Or would it be more beneficial for the father to see if he can settle with the lawyer, and mother, outside of court?
Customer
He is not worried about losing the custody since it is in the best interests of the child to stay in his care. The evidence shows also. He just wants to make sure the evidence is entered correctly.
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, you do need to submit the additional evidence in advance of the trial. Typically you need to file the evidence at least seven days in advance of your trial date, but you can contact the clerk's office at the courthouse where your custody case is being processed to verify the exact filing requirement. This filing requirement is in place to ensure that both parties have equal access to the evidence and information, and adequate time to prepare for the trial. If you are self representing, then you can submit the evidence during the trial, but it will most likely result in a continuance and potential delay in your case because the court will need to give the other party adequate time to prepare in light of the new evidence.

I hope that information helps! Let me know if you still have any questions about this. I'm here to help.

Customer
Thank you for this information. If he decides to just present the evidence in court, is there a way for the attorney to get the evidence dismissed, or thrown out, for any reason?
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Yes, it is possible that the opposing counsel could object to the evidence being admitted on that day since it was not filed in advance. If that were to occur, typically the judge will schedule a continuance. However as I mentioned it would be best to file the evidence in advance of the trial date so that you are able to ensure that you'll be able to use it at the trial. I hope that helps clarify.

Customer
this is just basically a trial for both sides to present evidence for the judge to decide who would better have the child's best interest in mind? Since there was no official custody order in place, it is an even field?
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Yes, the court will ultimately make a decision based on the best interest of the child standard. That's a legal standard that involves an evaluation of several factors. Those factors typically include any history of domestic violence, any criminal history, the nature of the child's relationship with each parent, the stability of each parent's home, each parent's employment status, each parent's physical and mental health, any drug use or alcohol abuse by either parent, or any other factor the court considers relevant. I hope that helps.

Customer
When you say ciminal history, do you mean any criminal history that may have involved the child or had anything to do with any children? Would an assault charge that did not involve any children be relevant, especially if it was 2 years ago?
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Nisha Jones, Expert

Yes, the assault charge would be relevant even if it did not involve the children. The criminal history pertains to any criminal history at all, not just criminal cases involving the children. Violent crimes or crimes involving drug use do raise particular concern with the court.

Customer
I understand. I appreciate your patience with my questions and all of your help.
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Nisha Jones, Expert

You're welcome, I'm glad I was able to help. If you have any more questions in the future and would like my help, please feel free to reach out to me here at Just Answer by posting a new question, and adding "For Nisha" to the first part of your question. I'd be happy to help. Please take care and stay safe.

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