Ten Point Custody Checklist #2: Keep a Diary and/or a Calendar
The second item in a ten point checklist for custody and access cases is to have a diary and/or calendar.
If you are involved or about to become involved in a custody or visitation dispute BUY A DAY CALENDAR!
It is often lamented that women have an advantage in custody cases. With each passing year I see that rule as holding less and less water. Yet the statistics show primary or sole custody is awarded to women in disproportionate numbers.
I think a number of gender neutral factors can explain this disparity. One of them is diaries and calendars. If this comes off as sexist I am sorry but, women are more prone to keep diaries and calendars than men.
Women also tend to be generally just better organized than men. For example, I will see a father testify on the stand, full of sound and fury supported by truth and conviction. I will see a father testify from the stand with a choreographed calendar of events in support of her case.
Being “on the stand” is a very challenging thing. Unless you are a distinguished public speaker the experience will be something like drowning. You gasp and struggle just hope you are getting somewhere. What helps is a plan.
If you have diaries, calendars or what lawyers refer to as other “contemporaneous notes” they can be very persuasive in a he said she said scenario.
Make no mistake, I stand by the idea that diaries and calendars are very, very persuasive but if you think about it that is pretty funny.
I mean how easy would it be to buy a calendar or diary at Staples, take a dozen different pens and pencils, write what you want when you want, leave it out in the rain a little, tumble it in the dryer with a tennis ball etc. You could show that to somebody and they wouldn’t be any the wiser. Yet the calendar and diaries remain a very persuasive and convincing tool.
Tim Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place
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