Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Want to keep your kids? Consider keeping a diary

If you look strictly at statistics, you'll find that mothers in Maryland tend to get the child custody award when push comes to shove. If you read between the lines, however, you'll realize that this is largely due to the fact that mothers tend to spend more time caring for their children than fathers do. Courts usually seek to award primary custody to the primary caretaker in custody battles.

This is certainly not true in all cases. In many situations, fathers spend an equal amount of time -- if not more time -- than mothers do caring for their children. In order to prove this fact in court, and receive either the 50-50 or full child custody award that they want, fathers may need to prove their involvement in court. This can be achieved well with a child care diary or child care journal.

Keeping a journal is simple, and it's an equally useful tool for both mothers and fathers. All you have to do is take notes about what you did with and for your child each day. You can take these notes in the calendar in your phone, in a notepad, in the boxes of simple wall calendar or whatever is most convenient for you. Following the completion of your divorce, you may want to continue taking these kinds of notes because -- if your parenting activities are ever challenged in court by your ex -- you can use them to show what you've been doing on behalf of your children.

If you have questions about how to keep a child care journal, be sure to speak with your family law or divorce attorney about this topic. Mainly, however, you'll want to say what activities you did, what you did for your child and also note how the child is doing and whether the other parent ever misses a visitation appointment or comes late to a scheduled child exchange.

Source: CustodyXChange, "Keeping a Parenting and Visitation Journal," accessed Sep. 20, 2017

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