If you have recently reached out to your family law attorney for help with an ex who is not properly following your child custody agreement, your attorney may have told you that, before you can take the issue to court, you need documentation to show the trend and to prove that there is a problem. If you're wondering how to go about this documentation process, this is the post for you. Here's a look at some of the things you should do when you're trying to document your ex's disregard for the custody order ahead of a court hearing.
Text or Email Communication
If your ex texts you to say that they will be late, or if you text your ex to find out where he or she is after the expected pickup or dropoff time, any conversation that occurs between the two of you via text will be admissible in court. Save these text conversations for your family law attorney to enter as evidence.
The same applies to any email communications. In a digital age, courts are accepting far more digital communications as evidence provided that their origins can be clearly proven and documented.
It's important to remember, though, that the text communication must clearly be between you and the other parent. Any conversations between you and another family member about the issue can be considered hearsay, and won't be admissible as a result.
When your attorney advises you to start keeping a record of child custody issues and pickup or dropoff delays, another thing you should do is to start keeping records on a calendar. Mark the time that your ex arrived on each of those custody days, clearly showing when he or she was early or late and interfered with the proper custody agreement times.
Another thing that many people don't think to do is to record videos. When your ex does arrive at your home, record the interaction with your smartphone. Make sure that the timestamps are clearly visible on the recording, or even use a television news time stamp or something else that clearly shows what time it is when the interaction occurs.
The same can be done when your ex hasn't arrived for a pickup or dropoff. You can record a message that shows your children are still with you, provided that you can clearly show the time and date to prove the deviation from the custody agreement.
These are some of the best ways for you to document child custody issues before your lawyer files a court petition to have the problem addressed. Talk with a family law attorney for more guidance and suggestions.