When divorcing couples are embroiled in custody disputes, they might experience brain fog when it comes to trying to recall their Indiana children’s extracurricular activities and the expenses and time involved. Determining parenting time and support requires parents to accurately recreate their children’s schedules and how much different activities cost. One great type of evidence that can be helpful in both creating a fair parenting plan and determining support needs is a calendar.
Benefits of a calendar in child custody disputes
When a new year begins, most people react by throwing away their calendars from the previous year and hanging a new one. However, people who are divorcing or going through child custody disputes should reconsider disposing of their old calendars. Last year’s calendar can provide the following information that can be helpful when creating a parenting plan or calculating child support:
- Out-of-town sports and other extracurricular activities necessitating hotel stays
- Birthday parties requiring gifts
- Time spent with a parent on specific activities
This information can help create an accurate budget of expenses related to a child’s extracurriculars and gifts when determining proposed deviations from child support guidelines. It can also help with proving a child spent a significant amount of time with one parent when child custody disputes arise.
Calendaring as a practice
In addition to hanging on to last year’s calendar, it’s a smart idea to make calendaring a routine practice going forward. Document the times your child spends with you. Document if the other parent was supposed to spend time with your child but failed to do so. Keep accurate records with dates and times, and save text messages or emails to support the information documented in your calendar.
Documenting relevant information about the time your child spends with each of you, their extracurricular activities, and child-related expenses throughout the year can provide strong evidence in your child custody case. This type of information can show why a proposed parenting plan is in your child’s best interests or why the court should consider deviating from the child support guidelines.