INITIAL STEPS TO TAKE
1. Monitor what you put on social media. Make your accounts private but keep in mind that anything posted could still be discoverable.
2. Make sure you are abiding by every aspect of your parenting plan. Review the plan from start to finish and make sure to ask your attorney if you have any questions.
3. Make sure all correspondences (especially changes to the parenting plan) are communicated in writing. If you have a conversation in person be sure to send a follow-up text or email to get in writing what you have discussed.
4. BE NICE! It is very important in court that you be portrayed as the reasonable parent. Try your hardest to put aside the negative thoughts you have related to the process, and in every decision you make think about how it will look to a judge. Kill the other party with kindness. Be considerate.
5. Keep a journal of every time you spend with the child – write down what you did, the mood of the child, the time of the exchange, and whether any strange comments were made.
6. Run criminal background checks on anyone who will be providing child care for the children.
7. Take any extra parenting time you can get – if the other parent offers you more time with the child TAKE IT!
8. Catch up if you are behind on child support payments. If you are not ordered to pay support, pay as much as you can towards support. Make sure to pay via check or transfer from your bank so that it is clearly documented. On each check or transfer, indicate that it is for support.
9. Take pictures of the activities you participate in with your children.
10. Start gathering any documents that may be useful for your divorce proceeding.
WHAT NOT TO DO
(without first consulting your attorney)
1. DO NOT make any negative comments about the other parent to friends, family, on social media or to the child.
2. DO NOT remove the other person from your insurance if they are currently covered.
3. DO NOT sell or transfer significant assets.
4. DO NOT use physical punishment on the child.
5. DO NOT take the child out of school unless absolutely necessary.
6. DO NOT take the child out of state without complying with the terms of your parenting plan.
7. DO NOT move residences.
8. DO NOT take a lower paying job than the one you currently have.