Prepare an exhibit binder for the judge
One sure-fire way to impress the judge is to prepare a binder containing all of the exhibits you intend to present in your hearing or trial. One definite way to annoy the judge is come to court disorganized, with your papers disorganized, and without sufficient copies of his review.
To make a winning presentation, follow these guidelines: (a) Get the best evidence; (b) Make sufficient copies of each document; (c) organize the documents; (d) mark them as Exhibit 1, 2, 3, etc. and (d) build your courtroom presentation around the exhibits. Enter the courtroom with organized exhibit binders for everybody — the judge, the courtroom clerk, the other lawyer (or the parent if self-represented) and the witness on the witness stand.
It is typical to be this organized in a custody trial, but it is also a good habit to get organized with exhibits in motion hearings and other shorter proceedings. Appearing each time in an organized way tends to cast you in a continuously favorable light, and it may add to the judge’s impressions of your credibility.
Of course, not every document is automatically admissible in evidence. If you are represented by an attorney, you will be advised to avoid documents that are hearsay, unauthenticated or otherwise inadmissible.
Please let me know if you have any additional advice involving documentary evidence.