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Documentation. Do you do it?

Wicked2Three's picture

I was wondering how many of you document things about your SK's and BM? I have some specific questions, if you don't mind.

1) Do you document

2) Do you do it or does DH/SO

3)What types of things do you document

4) Have you actually used this documentation for any purpose? Either in Court or given BM/BD the list to prove a point in a personal negotiation.

What has been the result? Was it worth it?

I have been asking DH from day one to document every phone call from BM and every request. He thinks it's a good idea, but has been so beaten down by BM he doesn't beleive it would ever do any good. I asked him again last night to do it and he said "and then she will just lie and say that it's not true" I can't believe he gives her so much power.

What do you think? Worth it? Should I pick up the ball and start now, 5 years later with only one SK left for 6 more years? I would really appreciate some advice. I think we should have SD12 50/50, but even with BM working sometimes 13 hours a day she refuses to let us have her more than 28%


WowjustWow's picture

I keep datebooks with info in them. DH keeps emails, I keep receipts. I keep track of how many times she moves and the addresses (we have issues with her being stable).

We have not had to use them YET, but I fear our time to do so is coming soon. Many people have said that judges appreciate written data. Of course, it has to be important info i.e. BM refused to drop them off or BM left little Suzy at school until 8 pm. Judges don't want to hear nit picky things.

~ Formerly ToTheEdge. I have stepped down from the ledge.

CVOinNorthernVA's picture

Hello everyone.. New to the group.
I document everything. Take pictures,reciepts,phone calls/bills,emails all of it. My husbands EX is really talented.She is the best liar I have ever ran acrossed. I am retired from Law Enforcement/Corrections and work around and dealt with the best of the best,but I must admit she is really good.You guys will get a big laugh out of what I did. My husbands EX had furniture of my husbands(mother).Who passed a few yrs back, before him and I met. Anyway in his divorce settlement the court ordered her to turn ever the property to my H. So we schedule a pick up date.The day before we where to drive 4 1/2 hours to pick the stuff up, H gets an e-mail stating she put the property in a storage unit she rented for his property. We were imformed to pick it up at the storage facility,not her house.I think she did not want us to see the filthy house they all live in. Or us see the 13 yr son. Who we have not seen in a yr and half. Another story for another day.We got to the storage unit and it was so crammed with the property and so filthy it would make you sick. The (2) Queen Ann chairs was full of pet hair and urine from the pets. It was so nasty I could not believe people live like that.I was shocked and livid. So I took pictures,got estimates for cost of cleaning them and deducted it from her spousal support check the next month. Not the child support $824 a month.. her check.I send THE CHECKS restricted and certified so only she can pick them up at the post office. In the past the (EX)had her brother and or mother picking them up from the PO BOX and signing her name and cashing them. And we had no idea where the money was going.I was not happy about that and I figured a way to stop it.I called the bank(Suntrust) but the bank would not do anything about it...Because she did not complain about it... she gave them permission to sign it...GRRRR.. So now I make her work for the money every month if she wants it... she needs to go sign for it at the PO.Which I know pisses her off badly. I took $450 out of her SPOUSAL support check to cover the cost to clean the QA chairs. She will not call here, because she knows I will be in her face in a NY second. I know every month she HATES having to go to the P O and sign for it. Sometimes it stays at the P O for 5 days before she can go sign for it, because she can't take off from work to get it. Not my problem! If she wasn't such a GOLD DIGGING WH-re. And used my husband as a "sperm donor and a sugar daddy " to support the commune( the son the EX, her mother(Gyspy Queen, brother ,sister in law)for yrs and not paying the bills and ran up all the credit cards up, taking care of her family. And she still feels H owes her more money. This woman makes $65K a year as RN and the court ordered H to pay $1000 a month SPOUSAL Support for 5 more years.Because he is ret from the military and now has a great job as a contractor for the gov. Trust me folks the courts are not in your favor when it comes to these EX's with any spawns. The attorneys loves scorn woman, How ever they become scorn. Not being able to live with out your MOMMY or brother. This is called "attachment disorder".... running your husband off because you decided your family was more important than your husband and child.I am not saying all EX's are this way but there to many that are. I myself am an EX and I walked a way with nothing. I supported myself on 30K a yr and lived my life. Did I have to make some adjustments, you bet I did...I could have taken my EX to the cleaners, but I didn't.. when it was over after 27 yrs, it was over! I wasn't giving him another day of my life...recieving money from was being attached to him in someyway $$$... I didn't want his money. I was done !!Thanks for letting me vent ....... I have lots more stories to tell with this EX. She is a real piece of work... Did I mentioned she works in a cardiac care unit in Lynchburg VA...and sent her son to his weekend visit with us when he was 8yrs old with a pocket full of RX drugs... we did not know he even took medicine.. Now you see why I document everything.
Another story for another time.

StepG's picture

we do document. It is in a Word doc. I usually sit on couch at night with H and we journal it all. We document everyday wether we have contact with BM and SS or not. We document the good and the bad from both sides as far as interaction btw BM and us and SS and us and what SS tells us. I do not think H would do this without me not because he would not want to it just would never work out for him to do it. I am better at it anyway. We are going for 50/50 with SS because BM will not allow one minute more time with SS than that ordered by their divorce decree. SS is 8 will be 9 in Sept. In addition BM does a lot of other whacko stuff and I believe is borderline emotional abuse to SS about us. She would like nothing more than for H to die or have nothing to do with their son. Forget what that would do to SS because it is all about BM. So when things are bad there SS can only take so much before he breaks down and tells us a little and we document it. We document when SS with us and how he always loving on us saying he glad to be there and his behavior with us. We document all calls from BM including her attitude during that call and how we can hear SS in the backgroung yelling/smarting off to BM and her doing the same to him.

Our attorney just turned over all 250 pages of the word doc single space that covers the last 3 years to BM attorney. I posted what happens now to see others experience on how the documentation would be handled. Others have posted that the documentation is extremly beneficial others not so much. Yes it will be your word against hers but believe me you H and I have put countless hours into documenting this stuff and that shows that we took time to keep record and there is no way we could just make up all 250 pages of chaos.

So yes I will always document until SS is legal age and H no longer pays child support.

CrystalRE's picture

We started out just documenting any interaction that we had with BM (calls, text messages, visits, emails, things the kids would tell us, etc.) we did use it in court and it helped a lot. Since court ended we have started documenting EVERYTHING per out attorneys suggestion. We document who takes them to what functions, whether or not BM shows up, our weekend activies, when we pay a bill or fee for the kids....anything you can think of. DH and I do this together EVERY night after the kids go to bed. It is time consuming but we deal with an unstable BM on a daily basis so I expect that we will need it again some day.

Cheyenne Arizona's picture

We have documented from day 1, but to specifically answer....

1. Yes
2. I usually do it, mostly because I type a lot faster, but he helps.
3. We document interactions, irresponsible behavior, letters, voice mails, comments etc. Anything that isn't "normal" interaction
4. Yes we used it in court and some of her voice mails were incriminating to her. I think these worked because we recorded the voicemails and transcribed them. We used a specific voice mail when we contacted the IRS. She was trying to clam oldest SS and since she is in arrears on child support in our state you cannot do that, you have to be current by December 31st of that year. She, in her dumb mind, tried to turn us into the IRS since she is supposed to claim SS - if she is up to date - well on a vm she said she didn't care if she wasn't supposed to claim him and was going to do it anyway. Needless to say the IRS discontinued their correspondence with us and she has to pay them back. It can work.

It is definitely worth taking the time to do. You have to do it and then put it up and not fixate on it, that can be the hard part sometimes. My FH didn't have much faith in it at first, but after my insistance and my fathers backing up my opinion he did it and is now a believer.

Hope that helps.

Catlover's picture

DH and BM are down to only communicating via email. This is because they can't seem to have a conversation on the phone that doesn't resort to craziness. So in order to protect ourselves, Dh has let BM know that the communication (unless in an emergency situation) will be via email. This helps since we can just print and file. We also save all of the monthly placement schedules, receipts, etc that have to do with the skids. All are filed monthly in an accordian file. We are in the middle of a court case, and our lawyer does have copies of all our documentation. We shall see if it makes a difference.

"Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get me"

HummingBirdHunny's picture

Well we do document stuff, but we only document when visitations take place and how long, as well as any phone calls take place. When we document phone calls we just keep track of whether the kids call BM or vice versa. This on our part is done more so to show a judge (when the time comes) that it's the kids pushing to keep their relationship open with BM and not so much BM doing it. I am however thinking of documenting the latest phone call I had with BM simply because she told me numerous times that because her epilepsy has been getting triggered more lately that's her reason for not taking them (and she's been out of work for 3 weeks now because lost her job!) If she wants to use her health as a reason for why she can't take them for a weekend visit, then why should she have custody of either or both kids yet she still has the same health issues, which will NOT get any better as time goes on?

We wont document what skids and BM say to each other on the phone since we dont want it to seem like we are listening in on their private conversation.

mrsparks's picture

whenever she goes off or asks us to keep SS longer, of if his clothes are dirty, which is "always" We don't know if we'll be using it, but I think it's good to have

The Principlist's picture

We documented everything. When a visit happened right down to the hour to prove that she does not get them EOW for 48 hrs. She normally gets them whenever for as long as they don't drive her nuts.

I am the one that keeps track of everything although DH will document HIS conversations with BM. In the beginning we documented everything from what the kids ate, to what they wore, to where they lived, to every address (moved 7 times in 1.5 years), to their mood when they came and when it was time to leave. I know a bit much, but it proved to be our saving grace. Had no idea WHY I was documenting so much...I just DID.

Well BM and DH worked at the same place (law enforcement). BM lied and said that DH was not helping with the kids andnot paying CS even though WE had the kids more than she did and were paying about $1k per month in CS. Well internal affairs got involved and it was a very ugly situation but we were able to support all that we said with the documentation so the gauntlet fell on BM. Worked out in our favor because they were trying to reprimand DH and would have if we couldn't prove otherwise.

THAT first fall out with the job was where it all stemmed from. BM was given several opportunities to make right and after a final last chance agreement for MANY reasons, she ended up losing her job. The loss of her job flowed over into her ability to care for the kids. It was already an issue that she had been making about $50k a year + receiving an additional $1k CS per month but they were HOMELESS. COurts of course frowned upon it. BM tried to say that DH was the reason that she lost her job and she needed alimony. Lucky for DH FL is a no fault state and do not care who was at fault nor do they grant alimony except in SPECIAL circumstances. The courts stripped BM of CP and awarded custody to us (this is the short version so many details are left out).

I continued to document for a while, but then stopped for some strange reason. Well BM began with her games again about 2 months ago and I have since restarted documenting. Don't know if I will ever need them, but after BM called CPS and filed a false child abuse report on us I see that I need to get back to documenting as I never know what is going to come down the pipes. Whatever it is or whenever it is...I NEED to be ready.

Anyone can take the easy way out and blame others. BUT it takes a a person of character to take a look at one's self and actions and own responsibility for their part. ~ ME ~ }:-P

Rags's picture

we recorded every telephone call. Each telephone or face to face conversation is listed in the log with basic info of what was discussed.

When SS comes home from visitation with "Dad/GrandMa/etc ....said/asked blah, blah, blan" we put it in the log.

In Texas it is legal to record any conversation that you are a party to without notifying anyone else on the line (at least it was when we lived there). We have dozens of micro cassette recordings of telephone calls with THEM. You can buy a splitter at Radio Shack that will allow you to plug a recorder in to your telephone so that you can record calls. When the caller ID showed a call was from them we hit record before we even picked up. If the number was blocked we would answer and hit record if it was them.

We also have kept copies of all medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.

These records have been useful on several occiassions over the years. THEY know we have them and the records scare them enough that they will comply with our position any time things have gotten contentious. Our attorney has used our records on several occassions to include information in letters he writes to THEM on the risks they run in not complying with our efforts to protect the best interests of the Skid and what information will be presented to the Court if they either initiate a court action or force us to initiate an action.

So, I recommend that you keep a call log and copies of any pertinate information. You may never need it but if you do it can help.

My wife is the one that maintains the log/files because she is the one that interfaces with BioDad and his mother on all Custody/Visitation/Support issues. This is due to the courts repeatedly excluding me from the court room as not being a party to the case since I am Sparent. I participate in the preperation for court and I spend quite a bit of time reviewing the log/files and attend all meetings with officials (lawyers,CPS, even judges before then throw me out)

Best regards,