3. Cellular Phone Recording Device. These are also available at
Radio Shack for approximately $22.00 (called Wireless Phone Recording
Controller) and are very similar to the above mentioned telephone
recording device. It allows you to record your cell phone conversations.
As discussed above, consult a lawyer first, as some states ban
recording phone calls without notifying the other party.
4. Tape Recorder. Be sure to get one that has a mic (microphone)
outlet. You need this function on yours to be able to use telephone
and cell phone recording devices. There are also digital tape recorders on
the market. Former partners have been known to record all
conversations, not only between themselves and you, but with their
children, at visitation transitions and in conversations with people
involved in the case. Assume that your ex probably does too.
5. Camera that displays the date on prints. Photos with the date
on them are very reliable evidence since you have proof of when the photo
was taken. Wal-Mart has some that display the date starting at $60. Cannon
makes a good model for $69 that has a zoom lens and date display. Capture
those Kodak moments and also photos for evidence for your case.
6. Video Camera. Video recordings are almost always admissible
in court and are much more reliable and compelling than audio tapes and
other evidence. Consider making available some pleasant footage of you and
your children to show in court. Video can also be used to capture
incriminating evidence against your ex. Consult your attorney first
before interviewing the children on video, or recording an exchange,
etc. This can sometimes contaminate the evidence if done improperly,
and if court personnel think you have coached the children, it can be used
against you and do more harm than good.
7. Mace, Pepper Spray, Panic Button, Code Words, etc.
Consider having some small defense item like this on you at all times for
your personal security. Check with your lawyer as some states have laws
against carrying mace and other similar items.
8. Fax Machine (I recommend a Hewlett Packard 3 in 1 that has
fax, printing and scanning functions). Most also have a
copying function, which comes in handy. A good one costs $250 or
more, but is a great investment in your case.
9. Your Children's Passports, Fingerprints, Recent Photographs and
DNA samples. See http://www.codeamber.org/ and
other sites to order fingerprinting and DNA kits. Some police stations
will fingerprint your child for you.
If your ex is a flight risk, take additional
precautions. http://www.travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html or
provides information from the U.S. Department of State, Office of
Children's Issues on how to obtain a passport for your children. You may
also ask that your child's name be entered into the State Department's
Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. This will enable the
Department to notify you or your attorney if an application for a U.S.
passport for the child is received anywhere in the United States or at any
U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. If you have a court order that either
grants you sole custody, joint legal custody, or prohibits your child from
traveling without your permission or the permission of the court, the
Department may also refuse to issue a U.S. passport for your child.
There are also watches with GPS technology that ensure your child can
be located within the US.
As an extreme measure, there is such a thing in existence as Veri-Chip,
a tiny implanted chip so your child can be located anywhere if
missing. Obviously, this is not something to be considered lightly,
and should only be considered in extremely high risk situations.
See http://www.verichipcorp.com/ for
details and do not even consider this move without consulting an
10. "Nanny cam" and other devices. These are pricey, but worth
the money if you can use them. http://www.spysupplystore.com/
have many to choose from.