My daughter like a lot of kids is doing online school right now and it is an adjustment for everybody. It's an adjustment for her and it's an adjustment for us the parents. The way that her school is doing virtual learning is via Google Classroom which is great, however, we didn't realize there is a tab in google classroom that tells our daughter all of her to-do's.
I just happened to be looking at the google classroom and randomly clicked on the to-do's and found that there were seven or eight assignments that had been assigned that she hadn't done. Apparently, she hadn't realized that she hadn't done them so we spent the next two and a half hours doing assignments from throughout the week.
So my husband and I have just been talking to her about the importance of having a methodical way of knowing your deadlines and knowing what you have to do. This starts hopefully at nine years old because by the time you get to the point where you are adults who have children and some of us who are involved in child custody cases your to-do list really is important. It has long-lasting and far-reaching effects.
I want to share with you the most important to do's when it comes to your child custody case. I cover a lot of these to do's in the 21 Day Child Custody Challenge. It's a course where I lead you through 21 days of bite-sized pieces that I follow to prepare each of my child custody cases. The few biggest takeaways from the 21 day challenge that i think you absolutely must do when you're involved in a child custody case are:
You have to have a way of organizing all of your documentation especially if there's a ton of documentation. I have had so many clients come to me and they hand me a backpack full of jumbled disorganized papers. I've seen clients and people show up to a custody hearing and they haven't submitted their exhibits beforehand. Number one is organization!
The second to do in your child custody case is be very familiar with the factors that the judge is going to look at in deciding your case. These factors are called the best interest factors. If you haven't already downloaded the best interest checklist you can download it here. These are all of the factors that the court is going to look at and making a decision that's in the best interest of your child. The best interest factors are your guiding light and you should be organizing everything around those best interest factors.
The third to-do is to be aware of all your deadlines. This is what I'm talking about with my nine-year-old daughter that still applies to all of us. This applies to me in my everyday practice. You must be very aware of what your rules and the laws in your jurisdiction say about deadlines because if you mess a deadline really then your case could be over. So be sure to review your local rules and statutes and laws, rules of procedure , and local rules to make sure that you know what the deadlines are.
One place that you can look for deadlines at least in Arizona the judges often put deadlines within their minute entries. These are the minutes that are taken during court. When I have a court hearing or if the judge issues a ruling then we'll get minutes where the judge issues the orders and often in the minutes when a judge is setting trial the judge sets deadlines for disclosure, discovery, the taking of depositions, submitting pretrial statements, and submitting exhibits prior to trial.
The judge can also submit deadlines for extending the time of trial or continuing the trial. If you miss these deadlines it's bad for your case and it could be bad for your kids.
Organization is the number one to do get yourself organized both on the computer and your documentation in terms of how you're going to keep track of your documents that you're typing related to the case but also the documents that you collected that are going to support the best interest factors and that's the number two to do b become familiar with those best interest factors and then the number three to do is make sure that you are following all of the deadlines and all of the rules for the court
The best interest factors are the oxygen of the entire case. Without them there would be no life for the case. make sure you make a calendar and know the rules about the deadline.