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What should I put in a child care journal after a divorce?

New York parents in the midst of their divorce proceedings may want to consider keeping a child care journal. A child care journal offers a means for single parents to document their child care activities so that -- if their participation as a parent is ever called into question by the court -- they can offer proof of all the efforts they've made to spend time with and give care to their children.

If you're going to keep a child care journal, it's not very difficult. It can be simple as jotting a few notes down on a standard wall calendar, or you might find it more convenient to put the notes in a small book or your cellphone. When taking the notes, here's what you should include:

  • When you picked up or dropped off your child, and whether the other parent was late.
  • Missed and/or canceled meetings and visitations by the other parent.
  • Doctors' appointments and notes about the medical needs of your child.
  • Any discussions and decisions arrived at with the other parent.
  • The mood and emotional well-being of your child, both when he or she is spending time with you and after spending time with the other parent.
  • The behavior of your child.
  • Important considerations you want to address with the other parent.
  • Milestones and special achievements made by your child.
  • Other important information you may want to keep in mind.

As you can see, it's easy to keep a child care journal. It can also be beneficial to have this kind of documentation if your right to child custody and/or parental rights are challenged.

Source: CustodyXChange, "Keeping a Parenting and Visitation Journal," accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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