One issue with child custody cases and divorce cases is that they can often turn into “he said/she said” arguments, where little proof exists as to who is right and who is wrong. Often in marriage and parenthood, the only two people who know the truth are you and your partner. When trying to explain your case to a judge, it can be difficult to make him or her see that you are the one being honest.
How can we solve this problem? Perhaps the best way is through documentation: thorough, consistent, and organized documentation throughout your Washington child custody case. Documentation can produce evidence, and evidence can help support your point and help you gain custody of your kids.
But what do we mean when we say you should document everything?
- Keep a journal. We don’t mean for you to write down your innermost thoughts and feelings – we are taking about a detailed (but brief), unbiased, and truthful account of important events, such as comments made by your children, conversations with the children’s other caregivers, incidents of violence or abuse, telephone calls with your ex, appointments, participation, and division of childcare duties.
- Save medical information and police records. If you have had a domestic violence incident, suffered abuse, or had other interactions with the police or medical professionals related to your child custody case or divorce, be sure to save all information related to those events.
- Collect witness information. Have you spoken to someone who can shed light on your child custody case, your child’s best interests, or the relationship between your ex and your kids, such as a teacher, a daycare provider, a coach, or a neutral relative? Be sure to collect that person’s contact information and take notes on what they have to say.
- Take pictures. If you think something is important to see, there’s no harm in snapping a picture of it for your child custody case – whether it is an injury from abuse or another illustration of why you do not believe your ex-spouse is the right choice for custody.
We say this so often: child custody is about what is in the best interests of the child. One of the best ways to find out what is in the best interests of your child is to provide the court with information, evidence, and documentation that allows them to clearly see the issue.
Do you need help with your Washington State child custody case? Let Molly B. Kenny guide you through the process successfully. Call 425-460-0550 to speak with a Bellevue child support lawyer.