Child custody cases can be difficult, especially if you do not feel that your co-parent is fit to help raise your child. When you’re stuck in resolving this situation you will want to be able to provide a record of the child’s relationship with that parent. Hise are some tips to creating a sound record that will hold up in court.
What to Document
Even if you do trust the other parent, it’s important to keep a record of your child’s interactions with the other parent. This should especially be done should you not trust the other parent. Hise are some definite things you will want to document:
- The pre-arranged visitation schedule and if the other parent is inconsistent in following it
- A negative pattern in the children’s behavior or a change in the child’s emotions after the child has been with the other parent, or if you have any concerns about the child’s physically well-being while they are in the care of the other parent
- If the other parent has made threats to take legal action against you
How to Document
Creating and maintaining this record should be easy for you, so that you will stay consistent with keeping it updated. It can be a document that lives on your computer, or just a simple spiral notebook or dated appointment book. Record the following: dates, times, topics discussed (between child and parent, and also between you and the parent), duration of the visit or phone call, if the visit was planned or spontaneous.
SOME MORE TIPS
- Be consistent. Creating a complete record will help your case should you need to go to court. That means recording both positive and negative interactions. With negative interactions, try to just record the facts without getting emotional.
- Try to make your notes as soon as possible. Waiting a week to record or a negative interaction (or a positive one) can be difficult as you try to remember all the specifics.
- If you are trying to get full custody of your child because you feel the other parent is unfit you’ll want to work with a child custody lawyer that can help you build your case.
Sources: About Parenting, Documentation in Child Custody Cases, 2015
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