“Evidence” is any factual information that you present to the court. You and your witnesses can present facts by testifying about something that you have personally seen or heard, or by bringing in photographs or objects. You can also bring whatever paperwork you think will be helpful.
There are a lot of rules about what kind of evidence the court will allow and what it won’t allow. In general, the court will not allow you to submit a letter or an Affidavit from someone. Instead, that person will need to attend the hearing and testify. (There are some exceptions to this in the rules.) Often you cannot submit police records. Instead, you need to ask the police officer to attend the hearing.
If you need someone to testify about something, and that person does not want to come, you can serve the person with a “subpoena” and pay the witness fee and mileage. (In January 2023, the witness fee was $30.) A person who is served with a subpoena has to come to court and answer your questions. Fill out a Subpoena form. Give one copy to the court. You will have to ask a responsible adult or the sheriff to serve (deliver) the subpoena and fee to the person who you want to testify.
Preparing for the hearing
It is a good idea to make a list of everything that you want to tell the court and exactly what you want the court to order. Note: In court, you won’t be able to read from your list. Before the hearing, practice what you will say.
If you are bringing in people to testify (witnesses), it is a good idea to make a list of the questions that you want to ask each witness. With any witness who supports your point of view, discuss your questions and their answers before the hearing.
It is also a good idea to think about questions you have for the other party and for any witnesses they might bring to the hearing.
Keep your comments and questions focused on the real, substantial and unanticipated change of circumstances since the last order, and why the change you are asking for is in the best interests of the child.