Clients often ask whether it is helpful for them to keep a custody calendar in the midst of a custody case. Some will track meticulously the days they have the children, the times where exchanges take place, the times when telephone calls are allowed with the children, etc.
As a whole, keeping careful records can be helpful if a party is an involved parent. This is particularly true in cases that do not settle and which end up being resolved at a trial. In some cases, it can also be helpful in terms of providing a guardian ad litem evidence of the pattern and practice of the parties.
Of course, it can also be helpful for an attorney representing a client. It can allow an attorney to be very specific with their client on the witness stand versus the testimony being general and vague in nature. In some cases, a judge may have little patience in terms of allowing a party to go through the calendar day-by-day over a prolonged period of time. However, most judges will allow these custody calendars to be admitted into evidence, for their own viewing, so long as a proper foundation has been laid for its admission.
Keeping a custody calendar can be an arduous task. For some, they may be reluctant to spend the time or energy on it. For others, if they are not very active with their children, a custody calendar can actually be hurtful. But for most, they ought to at least consider the possibility of keeping a custody calendar if custody time is a key issue in their case. This is especially true in cases where: (a) no temporary order has been in effect and the parties have been exercising custody informally; or (b) in cases where the parties have been deviating from a court ordered custody schedule by agreement.
A custody calendar can be kept easily (and for free) simply by using a notebook, Google Calendar, Outlook or a similar calendar program. On a more advanced level, a party might decide to pay for a custody calendar through a paid service. There are numerous online at minimum cost that parties may consider.
If you need a child custody attorney in Missouri or Illinois, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can contact our Jefferson County, Missouri Divorce Attorneys or call us at 855-805-0595.