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Preparing for a Custody Case

So you think that you will be in court soon fighting over custody or child support. What should you be doing? Here are some things to think about that may help you:

1. Consider putting the kids in counseling. Most kids whose parents are in a high conflict custody case need counseling. The sooner the better. Some custody issues can be resolved through counseling and without court intervention so make counseling a priority if custody will be at issue.

2. Keep a journal of all visits. In the journal include any problems that arose you are aware of, activities, early pickups/drop offs, and other significant events.

3. Keep track of all child support paid or received including copies of the checks.

4. Keep a separate ledger for expenses of the children that are required to be divided between you. All expenses should include receipts, proof of payment, and copies of any requests for reimbursement made to your former spouse.

5. Keep copies of all emails, text messages, and letters between the two of you. They should be in chronological order and organized with the relevant parts highlighted so that your attorney doesn’t spend hours reading useless information.

6. Gather and maintain copies of all school records for your children. Put them in order. These records should include attendance records, parent/teacher conference notes, discipline measures taken at school, nurses notes, and records all of IEP meetings.

7. Gather and maintain copies of all medical records if they are relevant to your custody case.

8. Make a list of the name and contact information for any person who has a significant relationship with your child. This may include daycare providers, babysitters, teachers, coaches, friend’s parents, and others who regularly spend time with your child. This list is a great starting point in terms of witnesses for your attorney. Make sure your list identifies the relationship between your child and each person.