How To Properly Prepare For Your Child Custody Case.
The weakest ink is better than the strongest memory. – Chinese Proverb
How should I prepare for my child custody case?
During the course of litigation, whether it is a divorce or parentage action or custody dispute or some other area of family law, I insist that my clients keep a journal and a calendar. As things unfold in and out of court and weeks turn into months, it is imperative to capture your experiences in writing. No matter how fresh and unforgettable things may seem at the moment, with the passage of time – and it could be a year or more before some cases get to trial, even the best memory will fade and distort. Add to this the anxiety of sitting in the witness stand testifying and you chance losing your grasp of the details of the who, what, when, where, how, and why of things and thus, needlessly, some of your credibility before the court.
In the Vermont family law case, a calendar is also recommended to memorialize when exchanges did and did not occur, including no-shows, how often phone calls were and were not allowed to take place, and how many overnights you had. Also noteworthy are trips to the doctor and dentist and attending parent-teacher conferences. Note who took them and who was present. Whether you are the custodial parent or not, be sure you are on top of your kids’ visits to these folks. At least be on the phone with them, getting records and being up to date with every aspect of these all-important things if you want to impress the court with your involvement and your readiness to continue with or accept custody and/or generous visitation.
Journal entries should reflect the date and the time of the event and who was present. Preferably, phone numbers and addresses are included beside those who might have to testify. Typical of such entries might be the content and tenor of snarky conversations with the (soon-to-be) ex. Or the details of confrontations. Also, print out Facebook and other media entries if they reflect events or comments the court should be made aware of. On that note, don’t say anything in an email, text, phone call or Facebook entry that you don’t want read in open court. Unfriend those who might not have your best interests at heart. On the contrary, keep channels open with mutual friends and acquaintances that will print out useful entries of the other party after you are unfriended by them.
Litigation can be nasty business. Avail yourself of those things that can help your cause and minimize the opportunities you provide the other side to help theirs.
If your family is currently facing a family law case, please contact experienced Vermont family lawyer, Kevin Volz at 802.775.0700.