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Should I keep a parenting and visitation diary?

When it comes to keeping records relating to your bookkeeping and accounting, the more and better organized you are with your record-keeping the better off you'll be in the event of an audit. It's similar when it comes to child visitations. Nevada parents who keep a brief log of their child visitation activities will be better off if a legal disagreement arises relating to their parenting style.

Let's say, for example, that your spouse accuses you of being a bad, irresponsible or inattentive parent. Your child custody journal will prove all the things you've done to serve as the best parent you can be. Best of all, keeping a child custody diary is simple, all you have to do is write some notes in the calendar of your cellphone or physically jot down some details in the boxes of a regular wall calendar.

When taking notes, here's what you should include:

  • Pick-up and drop-off times and whether you or your spouse were on time or late.
  • Any times when you were unable to visit your child, the reason why, and especially mention if it was your spouse's fault.
  • Days when you visited with your child.
  • Health appointments you took your child to and related medical information pertaining to the appointments.
  • Information about parenting talks and decisions made with the other parent.
  • Your child's mood, and mood related to the other parent.
  • Pending matters that you have to talk about with the other parent.
  • Your child's progress in school.
  • Helping your child with homework.
  • Developmental milestones reached by your child: potty training, reading, playing sports, etc.
  • What you did with your child: Did you read a bedtime story, take him or her to the park, etc?

Keeping a child care diary is simple -- the difficult part is consistency. When you can stick to this practice, however, you will reap the benefits of feeling that your parental rights are more secure if the other spouse challenges them in court.

Source: CustodyXChange, "Keeping a Parenting and Visitation Journal," accessed Aug. 16, 2017

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