As some Minnesota parents get ready to file for divorce or fight for custody, they might overlook what could become an important asset their case — the family calendar. Usually, people throw out their old calendars as the new year begins. If there are major legal decisions to be made, however, that calendar can be a valuable source for supporting evidence.

An old calendar can help a person remember important dates and events that might matter in divorce, custody or child support negotiations. For example, it can provide dates and times to help establish the family lifestyle and how much it costs. This can include dinners out and other entertainment that seemed routine and might be forgotten during the divorce planning. While expensive, major vacations might come to mind right away, the smaller ones might be forgotten.

Similarly, an old calendar can be used to estimate how much raising a child costs, including how much was spent on birthday presents for friends throughout the year. For those with kids who participate in competitive sports, overnight trips to competitions and hotel stays will need to be calculated as well. A calendar can also be used to establish which parent spends more time with the children and who drives to extracurricular activities, doctors’ visits and other events. Furthermore, it can be useful to refute an ex’s claims with specific dates and times. Divorce negotiations, for example, can be tense and stressful, resulting in the parties forgetting important facts during the process. An old calendar can help refresh their memory and facilitate finding the proof needed.

During the process, the assistance of a family law attorney can also be helpful and supportive. A lawyer might help the client organize evidence to support their position, provide representation during the proceedings and explain complicated legal terms.