When I went to court in the spring, the judge ordered that my ex provide a phone for my 11-year-old daughter to talk and text with me. I am supposed to talk to her every other day. I live in Atlanta so I don’t get to see her often. The calls and video chats are important.
Once again, as soon as I went home, my daughter stopped answering my messages. I eventually called my ex and asked what happened. She said the phone was damaged and that I need to communicate using her phone. I don’t like to do that because she never actually lets us talk — she always just answers that Ali is busy.
We went back to court to review things last week. I wanted to show the judge all the WhatsApp messages that I send that she doesn’t answer or that she says Ali is busy. But security said I couldn’t bring my phone into the building. When we saw the judge, my ex brought her phone bills to show I didn’t call her. We go back to court in March. How do I show the judge that I really do try?
The judge should have recognized that her phone bills would not show WhatsApp messages but maybe you didn’t say you were using the app. Be sure to tell the judge all the important information next time you appear.
Some courthouses only permit lawyers to bring their phones into the court house. If you have a lawyer, you can ask your lawyer to hold your phone as “evidence” to show the judge. But, the better plan is to take screen shots of all of your WhatsApp or other texting messages and print them out for next time. Make sure the date and time are included in what you print — I’ve seen that part get cut off in the screen shot/printing process, which renders the information useless.
You should also take the texts and create a chart in which you show the date and time you texted in one column and whether you got a response and if so what it said in the next column. A chart would create a visual to show the judge how limited your access is. Add a column that totals the number of times you actually receive a reply from Ali as compared to the number of days you make the attempt and are either ignored or shot down. Attach the chart to the front of the printed screen shots so the judge has the “back up” for your chart.
If you make the chart, the next hearing should prove far better for you, and your ex will find herself at a loss for words.