Everything has become slower and more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic, including divorce proceedings in family courts. While many divorcing couples have turned to mediation, there are still cases that require some degree of courtroom litigation. This is why we are talking about the importance of documentation.
Due to delays caused by backlogs, documentation of co-parenting communications and decisions has become even more critical. Not only does it provide an objective view of how you and your co-parent worked together to arrive at decisions, it demonstrates your financial accountability and responsibility, which could help your attorney or a judge determine child support.
What to Document
Keep records of about anything related to co-parenting, such as:
- Visitation schedules and change requests
- Child support payments
- Shared parenting expenses
- Details about your child’s health
- Conversations with your co-parent via email, text, phone, etc.
- Incidents such as late pickups or disregard for COVID-19 precautions
- Raised concerns about your child’s behavior or health
Be consistent and timely with your record keeping. The longer you wait to document something, the more difficult it may be to remember details. This is the importance of documentation.
Safeguarding Your Documentation
Communicate in writing as often as possible. Save copies of emails and texts, and take notes about calls and face-to-face interactions. If you are storing records on your personal computer or phone, have a back-up on at least one other device. Establish a method of organizing your records so specific information is easy to locate when you need it.
Another option for documentation is a secure online platform, such as SupportPay. It offers an easy, secure way to keep track of records related to child support, alimony, and other expenses—including those related to medical appointments or your child’s educational needs. It also has a state-by-state list of resources for co-parents.
Careful documentation can help you avoid a lengthy divorce. It might even keep you out of court entirely.