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Documentation- Will it really be reviewed?

Posted by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:09 AM
  • 31 Replies
I'm in the middle of a custody issue with my ex regarding our DS3. I'm asking for advice, because, to be quite honest with you guys, I am beyond clueless when it comes to all that goes into a serious matter when disputed in court. I've tried my hardest throughout the years to handle things without involving the system in any way, because, well, I always just assumed it was best to stay nice with the hope that things would work themselves out in the long run. Yeah. I know what you're gonna say... Stupid mistake on my part and stupid for being so naive.


Anyways, I obtained a lawyer after my DS3s BD suddenly decided to file for custody after seldom having anything to do with DS3 for his entire first year of life. A temporary order was set, and we've had joint custody since that first hearing. Since that time and actually prior to the temp. order I have kept a good calendar of all days I have had my son with me as well as all BDs days that he went to court to get only to hand him right back to me. I guess I knew back then that custody would eventually be something I would need to have settled in court, hence my reasoning for journaling my days with DS3 while raising him alone up until BD filed. I have also managed to keep all text message conversations between the 2 of us and have finally printed them all off. Those 2 things have been the only request from my lawyer, and I guess what I really wanted to know is...

Can documentation like text messages/ calendar really be beneficial in a custody case?

Is it more for the lawyer's benefit when trying to discredit an OPs request for a certain custody arrangement?
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:09 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mb1111
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM

It's good for the lawyer to have to reference, but it can also be entered in as evidence.  Text are good as long as they show the content, to/from phone numbers and time/date they were received/sent.  I think emails are good to use as well.  The email will show the to and from email addresses as well as the date/time sent.  My husband also uses google voice, so he gives my SS's BM that phone number.  Then when she calls and leaves a VM it records it  and he can go back and save the messages to his computer or it will dictate the messages as well.  She is the only person to whom he gives that number.  The first 3 years after their divorce he had a lot of issues with her verbally agreeing to something then saying later that she didn't remember agreeing or that she didn't agree to it, so pretty much all of their communication now is done via email or recorded voice messages.  She doesn't text.  So yes documentation can be reviewed by the judge as long as it is not considered hearsay.  Hearsay would be like you testifying that your son said something... she said he said stuff, which is why I think it's best to use email.  Emails are not considered hearsay.

Taylor5kids
by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I agree on the emails probably being the best form of communication when it comes to easily having it on record. BD always plays dumb when it comes to any form of technology. Email is definitely something he has claimed to be ignorant with.
For the longest time, after I quit answering his calls to avoid his verbal bashing, I would just turn right around and respond with a text. Lol. He would either claim that he couldn't text bc he was always driving or sometimes it was because he just didn't know how to work his new phone. What it really boiled down to was that if he could avoid responding to my messages then it made it easier to say "I was gonna come get DS3 for the weekend like we planned, but you wouldn't answer my calls." And "what text messages?" "I never got any texts from you." Lol. He preferred talking to me over the phone or in person, bc he knew he could usually get away with being a complete ass verbally and leave me very upset... It always seemed to make him feel better to see me cry.
He quit that shit after I married my DH, bc he knew it wouldn't sit well with him.
whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I can tell you that a certain piece of documentation made all the difference in my case.

My Ex (a disinterested father at best) filed for custody at the time of our divorce, mostly as a means to stop me from divorcing him. He claimed in his motion that he picked up the kids from afterschool care every day. So I went to the aftercare place and got a copy of the sign-out sheet, which had my initials about two thirds of the time, and his initials about a third of the time. Since he had lied to the court about picking them up every day, he lost his bid for custoday and got EOWE and 2 weeks in the summer, which is the typical NCP schedule.

In my case the documentation was third-party documentation (not something I created myself), and was only useful because it showed he lied. He might have gotten more parenting time, maybe 50/50, if he had not lied to the court. In fact if he had been honest and said "I pick them up a third of the time", the documentation would have helped him, because even a third of the time is pretty good and shows that was involved. But the lie killed his case.

amantonacci
by Gold Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

It depends on what exactly you are trying to do with this documentation, and the content within the documentation.

DeliteCrazy
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Best thing I learned to do is screen shot text messages.

I accidently deleted a bunch of emails. But have a recent text to back it up.
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amomynous_j
by on Dec. 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM

documentation is important, so that you remember every little detail. it seems silly, but keeping record of everything is important for your lawyer, and yes, to be submitted as evidence if necessary. 

i have screenshotted every single text message over the past year. it's tedious to print them and keep them sorted, but reading back there are so many things he's said that is incriminating that i had actually forgot about. 

Taylor5kids
by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Oh my goodness... Daycare pickup and drop off has always been one of the things he continuously lies about. It's sad when someone lies so much that they truly seem to believe it.
He always says he takes our DS3 to daycare on the days he has to work, when really, it's a fact that his mom gets up early in the am just to be at BDs house by 5:45 am (when he leaves) so she can sit until DS3 wakes up. She then gets him dressed and takes him to daycare. For the longest time, the sign-in she would be blank and not have any initials as if he had instructed her to just not worry about signing it. Eventually, after some time, a printed memo outside the front of the classroom doors stated that all kids had to be signed in and out. It kind of put a kink in BDs plans, but it still doesn't prevent him from dropping DS3 off at daycare as early as possible on his scheduled Fridays off.
I don't take DS3 to daycare the days I have him since I've stayed at home since having DD1. It pisses BD off too, and he continuously talks about how I'm a bad mom for not picking DS3 up from daycare as early as possible on transition days. We have 5 kids total and their schools are all scattered out. I have to pick them up too.

My lawyer has asked about the sign-in sheet, but he told me not to worry about it and that he would subpoena the daycare for it if needed. I have never liked the daycare DS3 is in, and the main reason has been due to BDs friendly relationships with the assistant director who he graduated HS with. She has never been very friendly and can't even manage to just fake it. She has stayed close with BD in his attempts to prevail as the best dad ever, and has text him in the past with times I have dropped off our son or picked up as if it's a flippin' conspiracy. I know this info. bc BD has said it himself. It's crazy bc she doesn't know me. And although I have made it a point to be nice every time I see her, I don't doubt she would make it almost impossible to obtain the sign in sheet.


Quoting whatIknownow:

I can tell you that a certain piece of documentation made all the difference in my case.

My Ex (a disinterested father at best) filed for custody at the time of our divorce, mostly as a means to stop me from divorcing him. He claimed in his motion that he picked up the kids from afterschool care every day. So I went to the aftercare place and got a copy of the sign-out sheet, which had my initials about two thirds of the time, and his initials about a third of the time. Since he had lied to the court about picking them up every day, he lost his bid for custoday and got EOWE and 2 weeks in the summer, which is the typical NCP schedule.

In my case the documentation was third-party documentation (not something I created myself), and was only useful because it showed he lied. He might have gotten more parenting time, maybe 50/50, if he had not lied to the court. In fact if he had been honest and said "I pick them up a third of the time", the documentation would have helped him, because even a third of the time is pretty good and shows that was involved. But the lie killed his case.

Taylor5kids
by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 12:21 PM
But thank you for giving me that info. It really is something that possibly just needs to be obtained some way or another prior to going to court and you mentioning your situation made me remember that we had once talked getting it.

Quoting Taylor5kids: Oh my goodness... Daycare pickup and drop off has always been one of the things he continuously lies about. It's sad when someone lies so much that they truly seem to believe it.

He always says he takes our DS3 to daycare on the days he has to work, when really, it's a fact that his mom gets up early in the am just to be at BDs house by 5:45 am (when he leaves) so she can sit until DS3 wakes up. She then gets him dressed and takes him to daycare. For the longest time, the sign-in she would be blank and not have any initials as if he had instructed her to just not worry about signing it. Eventually, after some time, a printed memo outside the front of the classroom doors stated that all kids had to be signed in and out. It kind of put a kink in BDs plans, but it still doesn't prevent him from dropping DS3 off at daycare as early as possible on his scheduled Fridays off.

I don't take DS3 to daycare the days I have him since I've stayed at home since having DD1. It pisses BD off too, and he continuously talks about how I'm a bad mom for not picking DS3 up from daycare as early as possible on transition days. We have 5 kids total and their schools are all scattered out. I have to pick them up too.



My lawyer has asked about the sign-in sheet, but he told me not to worry about it and that he would subpoena the daycare for it if needed. I have never liked the daycare DS3 is in, and the main reason has been due to BDs friendly relationships with the assistant director who he graduated HS with. She has never been very friendly and can't even manage to just fake it. She has stayed close with BD in his attempts to prevail as the best dad ever, and has text him in the past with times I have dropped off our son or picked up as if it's a flippin' conspiracy. I know this info. bc BD has said it himself. It's crazy bc she doesn't know me. And although I have made it a point to be nice every time I see her, I don't doubt she would make it almost impossible to obtain the sign in sheet.




Quoting whatIknownow:

I can tell you that a certain piece of documentation made all the difference in my case.

My Ex (a disinterested father at best) filed for custody at the time of our divorce, mostly as a means to stop me from divorcing him. He claimed in his motion that he picked up the kids from afterschool care every day. So I went to the aftercare place and got a copy of the sign-out sheet, which had my initials about two thirds of the time, and his initials about a third of the time. Since he had lied to the court about picking them up every day, he lost his bid for custoday and got EOWE and 2 weeks in the summer, which is the typical NCP schedule.

In my case the documentation was third-party documentation (not something I created myself), and was only useful because it showed he lied. He might have gotten more parenting time, maybe 50/50, if he had not lied to the court. In fact if he had been honest and said "I pick them up a third of the time", the documentation would have helped him, because even a third of the time is pretty good and shows that was involved. But the lie killed his case.

Taylor5kids
by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I'm assuming you have an iPhone? You mentioned screenshots, and I know that is pretty much the only way to go about providing those messages.

I have over 2500 and for the longest time I would start from square one and start with the screenshots but it seriously made me crazy trying to go back into my pic albums, make sure to keep them in order and then print. I finally found an app that would extract all the messages with time stamp, name, number, sent or received status, and the text and put it in excel format or PDF. I worried that since it didn't look exactly like the screenshots with the colored bubbles and stuff that it wouldn't be good enough, but the lawyer just said it didn't matter. He just needed the messages.


Quoting amomynous_j:

documentation is important, so that you remember every little detail. it seems silly, but keeping record of everything is important for your lawyer, and yes, to be submitted as evidence if necessary. 

i have screenshotted every single text message over the past year. it's tedious to print them and keep them sorted, but reading back there are so many things he's said that is incriminating that i had actually forgot about. 

whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Dec. 9, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I didn't have to subpoena the aftercare signout sheet. I just went to the office, explained my sitch, and they photocopied it for me right then and there.  

In your case since BD is in cahoots with the daycare director, I'd be concerned that he would obtain a falsified copy (where he went and signed all the blank lines). If you could get a copy now, it would prevent him from doing that.

Quoting Taylor5kids:
My lawyer has asked about the sign-in sheet, but he told me not to worry about it and that he would subpoena the daycare for it if needed. I have never liked the daycare DS3 is in, and the main reason has been due to BDs friendly relationships with the assistant director who he graduated HS with. She has never been very friendly and can't even manage to just fake it. She has stayed close with BD in his attempts to prevail as the best dad ever, and has text him in the past with times I have dropped off our son or picked up as if it's a flippin' conspiracy. I know this info. bc BD has said it himself. It's crazy bc she doesn't know me. And although I have made it a point to be nice every time I see her, I don't doubt she would make it almost impossible to obtain the sign in sheet.


Quoting whatIknownow:

I can tell you that a certain piece of documentation made all the difference in my case.

My Ex (a disinterested father at best) filed for custody at the time of our divorce, mostly as a means to stop me from divorcing him. He claimed in his motion that he picked up the kids from afterschool care every day. So I went to the aftercare place and got a copy of the sign-out sheet, which had my initials about two thirds of the time, and his initials about a third of the time. Since he had lied to the court about picking them up every day, he lost his bid for custoday and got EOWE and 2 weeks in the summer, which is the typical NCP schedule.

In my case the documentation was third-party documentation (not something I created myself), and was only useful because it showed he lied. He might have gotten more parenting time, maybe 50/50, if he had not lied to the court. In fact if he had been honest and said "I pick them up a third of the time", the documentation would have helped him, because even a third of the time is pretty good and shows that was involved. But the lie killed his case.


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