Collecting solid documentation concerning custody, your child’s best interests and well‑being is vital in custody disputes. The legal process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and you have a number of options for establishing child custody agreement. No matter which legal path you choose, the following documentation will help you get the best results:
Keeping a log of your child‑raising efforts will give you the following benefits:
Start collecting your evidence as early as possible.
Keep a detailed visitation log showing how much time your child spends with you (or with their other parent).
Keep a diary of all phone calls made between you and your child during the time when you do not have custody.
Use Alimentor to log date, time and duration of each call, including unanswered calls. If the other parent is not letting you speak with your child, log missed calls. Courts tend to take a dim view of a parent who tries to limit or block their child's relationship with the other parent.
If applicable, you should also collect evidence of questionable behavior or judgment of the other parent, such as domestic violence, negligence towards the child, unavailability, frustrating contact, and/or poor parenting skills.
Record your expenses related to raising your children incurred during the divorce to avoid allegations that you did not financially support your children at that time.
You can use Alimentor as a dedicated expense tracker to log actual amounts paid or received and to document missing or partial payments (reimbursements) and disagreements.
Keep receipts for all payments and purchases made for the benefit of your child in order to be able to prove what was purchased, when and for how much.
Take the time to evaluate your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. This will give you a clear picture of your financial situation and can help in preparation and presentation of a child custody and support case.
Remember that while each parent’s financial situation can play a role in child custody, the courts will ultimately make a decision based on what is in the best interest of the child.
The term “best interests of the child” refers to the deliberation that courts undertake when deciding what type of services, actions, and orders will best serve a child as well as who is best suited to take care of a child.
“Best interests” determinations are generally made by considering a number of factors related to the child’s circumstances and the parent or caregiver’s circumstances and capacity to parent.
When collecting documentation, tag your records with the “best interest” factors (aka "custody factors"). Then you will be able to generate the “Best Interests of the Child” chapter of the report, limited to specific tags if needed. Give this document to your attorney to minimize the time needed to prepare a legal brief.
"Best interest" tags available in Alimentor:
Alimentor reports can consist of the following chapters:
Follow these tips when preparing documentation needed for court or mediation: