“Journaling” usually refers to the act of maintaining a journal or diary of the feelings and thoughts related to your day. When a parent journals about his or her parenting activities, on the other hand, it serves a more important purpose than recordkeeping and psychological/emotional reflection. Indeed, this simple act could safeguard the parent’s right to child custody in the future.

The reason why journaling helps is due to the fact that courts will favor the “primary caretaker” in most child custody-related decisions. The primary caretaker is the parent who completed the lion’s share of tasks related to rearing the kids. In other words, it’s the parent who has done the most in terms of activities related to bathing, feeding, cooking, washing clothes, driving the kids to school, taking the kids to the doctor, parent-teacher night, school conferences, school events, sports events, planning birthday parties and other tasks.

Sometimes, both parents share the above tasks equally and sometimes one parent does almost all of them. Regardless of your situation, if you can’t prove that you’re involved in these kinds of activities, you could be at a severe disadvantage in a litigated child custody disagreement. Having a record or journal of your child care activities will be extremely helpful when trying to prove that you served as a primary caretaker of your child or children in this regard.

This brings us back to the point of the article: Keeping a child care journal, every day, could protect your child custody rights. Therefore, you may want to briefly write down what you did with your kids in a notebook or digital note-keeping application. Including pictures as further evidence and using the journal for keeping track of practical things like dates of pickups and drop-offs and doctor appointment times is also helpful.

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