By Daniel Exner
Divorce Lawyer, Cordell & Cordell
Be sure to document all of your concerns and any interactions you have with your wife and your children. This is somewhat therapeutic, and it will also refresh your memory when discussing your case with an attorney and if you need to testify in the future.
So what are the proven methods of documenting evidence in preparation for a divorce and child custody battle?
The most persuasive evidence is evidence that does not appear biased or fabricated. When clients have spouses with questionable behavior, Cordell & Cordell divorce lawyers recommend the client start keeping a journal or calendar that records daily household activity.
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If your wife comes home every night at 3 a.m., keep a calendar with the time she returns home every night. If you’re concerned about her ability to maintain a clean and safe home for your children, take pictures of your household every time you come home to a mess.
Make detailed notes about her appearance or other circumstances so the log does not appear like it was created in one sitting to conveniently aid your argument. If your camera does not automatically time stamp the pictures, think of a way to include the date and time in the shot.
When parties to a divorce have children, the court primarily concerns itself with the child's care and placement. If the parties cannot agree on child custody, the court may issue a temporary order that looks out for the best interests of the child. These orders will try to maintain the child’s status quo.
Without documentation of parents' activity or living situation, the court only has the parties' testimony to rely on, which can devolve into a common "he said-she said" scenario.
If you can bring in reliable evidence on your wife's questionable behavior, you will be in a better position to negotiate parenting time or convince the court to enforce your desired choice.
Remember, at every point of this proceeding, to stick to the facts and not provide unnecessary commentary. The court will not care if your wife currently drives you crazy but it will care if her conduct is creating an unreasonable environment for your children. Ask yourself who or what can corroborate the evidence you’re presenting to the court.
If you would like legal advice on divorce or help initiating your divorce, Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with one, including Daniel Exner, a Staff Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.