In an Arizona child custody dispute, one of the most important considerations of a family court will be the determination of which parent served as the primary caretaker of the children. In most cases, this parent will be the one who the courts prefer to take over childcare duties after the divorce. Sometimes, however, both parents served as primary caretakers, and in this case, they may have equal custody rights under the law.

To receive the advantages of primary caretaker status during a child custody trial, parents will need to show the court how they served the children in this capacity. For this reason, parents may want to keep a child custody journal in which they take daily notes of what they did with and on behalf of their kids.

Your journal can be simple. Just make sure you put an entry in your journal with the date and what you did with your children that day. You can maintain it in a notebook, calendar or just your smartphone. Here are a few things to take note of:

  • Things you want to talk about with the other parent
  • Notes on conversations and points of decision with the other parent
  • Late drop-offs and pick-ups of the children
  • Canceled or missed visitation appointments
  • Notes about the children’s medical conditions, doctors and dentist appointments
  • Your child’s mood and emotional state
  • How your child behaved
  • Things to talk about with the other parent of your children
  • Your child’s school performance and performance in extracurricular activities
  • Milestones of development for your child
  • Any other important memories like pictures and other diary notes

If your child custody rights are being challenged by the other parent, having a child custody journal on hand could be very important for your legal proceedings. Make sure you also discuss your case and situation with a qualified Arizona family law attorney.