Much of what affects custody cases happens outside the courts. Custody exchanges and co-parenting conversations can be crucial to helping your case, and writing them down helps ensure a complete and accurate record. It's a good idea to talk with your attorney at your first meeting and ask what kind of things you should be keeping track of and how best to relay that information if needed. Here are three basic tips to get your started.
1. Pick a method and stick with it. While it may take some trial and error at first, once you find a documentation option that works for you, it's best not to keep changing. Staying with the same manner of documentation helps you develop a routine so you can be sure that you're not forgetting anything.
2. Be truthful. Accuracy and truthfulness are vital to legal cases. The courts cannot make informed decisions in the best interests of the children if they aren't getting an accurate representation of the situation. Falsifying journal entries or skewing things as worse than they really are will not likely help your standing in court or with the judge either.
3. Write down the bad and the good. While it may seem like it sometimes when you're battling through a divorce, nobody is all bad. If you present a journal or documentation timeline comprised solely of negative incidents, it may seem less than accurate or reliable to the courts. Taking note of the good things that happen can also help ensure you're giving credit where it's due and not just focusing on the problems.
This documentation may prove useful to your attorney if he or she needs to take custody matters before a judge for you.
Source: Custody Preparation for Moms, "Documenting your custody case," accessed July 28, 2016