If you are preparing for a litigated divorce, you should not be blind to the contributions witnesses can make in your case. Here are the specific ways in which witnesses can strengthen your divorce case:
Proving Grounds for a Divorce
If you are seeking a fault divorce, then a witness can help you prove the grounds on which you are basing your divorce. For example, if you are using adultery as a ground for divorce, then a hotel staffer who helped your spouse book a room for their lover can testify to the fact and help strengthen your adultery claim. Or maybe you have based your divorce on cruelty and abuse and a neighbor walked into your spouse slapping you one day. In such a case, the neighbor can act as a good witness to strengthen your physical abuse claims.
Proving Day-To-Day Child Caretaker
You may also need a witness to help you with your child custody arguments if the witness has something relevant about your relationship with the children. For example, most courts are of the opinion that young children, absent other factors, should stay with the parents who typically take care of them on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, you can have a strong custody claim there is someone (say a nanny or a relative who lives with you) who can testify that you are the one who usually gets the children ready for school, reads their bedtime stories, or takes care of them when they are sick.
Proving Standard Of Living
During child support and custody determinations, the issue of standard of living is often brought into question. In such cases, you find that the person who should pay the spousal and child support will seek to minimize your standard of living during the marriage while the other party seeks to raise it. This is an important battle because the standard of living is one of the things courts use to determine alimony or child support. Here, a witness can testify about things like:
- How often you ate out
- The kind of stores you frequented
- How often and where you went for vacation
- The quality of the meals you used to have at home
All these can give the judge an idea of your standard of living during married life so that both the child and the parent receiving the alimony can maintain, roughly, the same standard of life. Talk to your divorce lawyer for more direction.