While getting a divorce isn’t always easy, getting a divorce when there are children involved can make the process much more complicated. By keeping a detailed child custody journal, you will help your attorney in the process and may help the Court better decide the issue of custody. The journal will also help you feel more in control of the situation.
Make it a Habit
It’s best that you consistently write in your custody journal every day. Make sure that you document everything in chronological order as well. If you do decide to keep your journal on your computer, email a copy to your lawyer and CC yourself every day so that you can easily prove to a judge when the entries were written. Also, using an online system, such as Our Family Wizard can be a helpful tool in the custody process.
Record All Manner of Communication
Take careful notes in your journal regarding phone calls, verbal conversations, emails and text messages exchanged between you, the other parent, and your lawyer. Specifically, make note of when communication was made, how long it lasted, the individuals involved and what was communicated. If you want to keep track of the finer details, it’s best to do so in a separate journal.
While you want to do everything you can to get custody of your children, make sure you also write down the good things the other parent does. Remember, this is about what is best for your children, not what is best for you or for the other parent.
Don’t forget to include the smaller, everyday details with your custody journal. Specifically, you’ll want to take note of:
- Positive and negative comments your children make about the other parent.
- Comments others have made about the other parent.
- Extracurricular activities and progress in school.
- Pick-up times (both late and on time).
- Medical and therapy appointments.
- Signs of violence or abuse.
- Your child’s general mood and disposition.
Rather than a personal child custody journal, it’s better that you view your notes as a highly detailed log. Set aside a block of time every day to write in your log and never think that anything is too insignificant to make note of. Your log may be extremely useful to your attorney when having to present specific facts to the judge.