After a divorce or child custody case is over, it is quite common that the parties will have to return to court in the future to adjust a child custody arrangement. This is especially true if the children are very young when the first order is entered. As time passes and children grow, their needs may change. The needs for a toddler are very different from the needs of a teenager. When requesting a change of custody, the requesting parent must show that since the last order, there has been a change in circumstances such that it is in the child’s best interest to modify the last custody order. Preparation and good record keeping can vastly help prove a case.
One way to help any future case is to keep a calendar. Keeping a calendar is especially useful when the other parent is not exercising all of his or her parenting time. Marking down when the other parent skips days or overnights will allow you in the future to show a judge that the other parent is not exercising his or her parenting time over a long period of time. This will make it easier to adjust the parenting time schedule to reflect the schedule that the other parent is actually exercising.
Another important tool is social media. If a concern is that the other parent is not keeping the children on a schedule or taking them to inappropriate places, then social media can bolster your claims. Taking screen shots of check-ins, photos, or updates can be powerful evidence to support your claim. Keep a binder or other notebook of printed out screen shots, or save them all to a particular folder on your computer to help keep yourself organized. This can also be important to preserve the other parent’s social media posts just in case they delete them later.
Finally, keeping a diary of interactions can help. If there was a conflict between you and the other parent, then make sure to write down the details of the event as soon as possible. Date the entry, and keep all the entries in the same place, like a spiral notebook. One or two unpleasant interactions may not be enough to prove your case, but meticulously demonstrating months’ worth of conflict is powerful evidence.
We have vast experience in proving to a court that a child custody arrangement needs to be modified. Call us today at (732) 479-4711 to discuss your case and how you can start gathering evidence to support your claim.