26
Jul 16

Using Email to Create a Custody Log for Record Keeping

One of the most crucial pieces of evidence that you can use in court is a parenting log, also called a custody log.  This log will show times that custodial and non-custodial parents have children as well as when they do not take advantage of their time with the children.    There are many things that you should note in a custody journal and keeping one through email is a great way to easily be able to update the journal through texts or emails at the time of drop offs or pick-ups.

 How to Use Email to Create a Custody Log

The first thing that you will want to do if you are going to use email as a custody log is create a new email account that is only used for this purpose.  Each time that your child is picked up or dropped off with the other parent, make sure that you send an email to the account with a text message.  This is simple and easy and gives you a record that is time and date stamped.

Another thing that you will want to do is make notes in the texts or actually send emails if you need longer notes for different things that occur during times that your child’s other parent has them.  Make note of your child’s behavior, their moods, and the things that they say in the email.  You should also be sure to point out when the other parent is late with pick-ups or drop offs.  You can make note of when they were supposed to pick up and missed visits or canceled them.  It’s also a great way to keep track of communication about trading visits or working something out.  You can simply copy and paste your ex’s texts or take screen shots of them and email these to the account.  This way you always have the ability to look something up when you need to.

In addition to these things, you can keep record of communication that you have with the other parent, information about medical appointments or school issues, and even help keep track of milestones and developments for your child.  In addition, make sure that you keep track of issues that you want to discuss with your child’s other parent or information that you want to make sure that you relate to them.  You can even have the other parent create their own journal email so that you can email these issues back and forth between the two of you with a clear record of when you are notifying them and what they choose to do with said information.

This email is a great way to keep track of everything that you want to remember about your child.  It is also a clear record that you can use in court if questions arise with how one of you are taking care of your child or communicating with one another.  If you have a clear email chain, the other parent cannot deny receiving important information or being told about something that was important.

 How the Email Journal Can Be Used in Court

It is easy to print emails.  One of the things that you can do before you go to court is print all of the emails that you have saved as well as all of the information that was shared between the two parents.  This is a great way to keep details of everything that you have been involved in.

 Reasons You Should Maintain Custody Journal

If disputes occur in court, as they often do, having a journal that is time stamped and has all of the information in it can help to prove that what you are saying is true.  You can’t change the time on an email to suit your needs so it’s important that you are sending these emails as they occur.  In addition, it can help you to show that you are doing the things that you agreed to and whether or not the child’s time with the other parent is interfering with their behaviors or education in any way.  In addition, it can help you to provide information that can help set up a more appropriate child custody schedule should things need to be changed.

Plus, if you are recording important milestones, information about school and activities, or other information that needs to be shared with your child’s other parents then it is going to help to show that you are following through with your effort to provide good communication.   Your ex won’t be able to deny that they did certain things or that they were not notified of something if you have a clear record that shows that they were.  Having a journal also helps give you peace of mind that you are not going to have to provide information or proof to a judge in the future should there be any issues, everything will be contained in one neat and tidy place that is easy for your to access.


24
Mar 15

Why it’s Important to File Custody with the Courts Instead of a Verbal Agreement

Going to court for child custody can be time consuming and expensive. Because of this, many parents often decide to ditch the courtroom altogether and instead create a verbal custody agreement. These agreements can be anything from one parent seeing the child every other weekend to both parents getting equal time with the child.

Even if you and your ex get along and both have the best interest of your child in mind, it’s still important that you file your custody with the courts instead of simply having a verbal agreement.

 Situations are going to change.

Many parents create this verbal agreement based on their current situations without looking toward the future. The problem is that both parents’ situations are going to change over time, and this will put you in a bind when it comes to custody.

For example, if one parent gets a promotion that will force them to move, this will cause an issue with your verbal agreement. The moving parent may want to bring the child with them, but the non-moving parent will want the child to stay close. This will likely cause a blowout that is not healthy for your child, and the two of you will just end up in court anyway.

If you make the arrangement in court, these types of situations can be settled before they arise. Also, you and your ex can always decide to go back to court when situations change or your custody agreement needs to be revamped. This will always keep your child’s best interests at the forefront.

 You won’t have anything legally binding you.

When you have a verbal agreement, it makes it easier for you and your ex to break it. For example, you may have a verbal agreement that says you’ll both pay 50/50 when it comes to your child’s educational and extracurricular needs. When you don’t have a legal agreement, your ex could decide to back out on this part of the agreement at any time, putting you fully responsible for footing the bill.

When you legally file custody, your agreement is set in stone and you or your ex cannot back out. If your agreement says that you will split costs and your ex doesn’t hold up to their end of the bargain, you can take them back to court where they can either be forced to pay you or they can serve jail time for breaking the agreement.

 It defines the parents’ responsibilities.

When you have a verbal agreement, your parenting responsibilities may not be entirely thought out. For example, you may decide to take your child to see one doctor, but your ex may decide to take them to another doctor. This isn’t beneficial for your child.

When you are filed through the courts, they will decide the type of custody both parents receive. For example, if you have joint legal custody, then both parents need to be in agreement when it comes to the upbringing of the child. This means that parents will need to agree on medical care, school, and other items. If you have sole legal custody of your child, then you and you alone get to make these decisions for your child without input from the other parent. Having this determined by the courts will make raising your child easier.