Bringing Evidence to Family Court
Presenting evidence in a divorce or child custody case takes more than recounting conversations between co-parents.
Family law attorneys can present evidence to demonstrate the truth of the co-parenting situation. Bringing evidence to court creates a clear record and supports the claims each parent is attempting to prove. Having correct and clear documentation regarding custody exchanges, verbal or written agreements, and custody schedules is only part of the evidence that can be useful in family court. Social media exchanges, texts, phone records, photos, and other tools can be valuable supplemental sources that create a more holistic understanding of the big picture.
How to collect evidence
Collecting evidence is much more difficult and time-consuming when you have to dig through conversations across multiple platforms, remember past dates within the past month or year, or search through old mail. Keeping a clear record of everything that happens between you and your co-parent should be something that you start as soon as a separation takes place. Keeping a journal and logging important dates, such as when and where custody exchanges take place, is a great start.
Co-parenting communication services such as TalkingParents help parents by facilitating and storing records of communications and interactions in one place. TalkingParents can help you gather and bring evidence to family court with features like:
- Accountable Calling – Make and receive phone and video calls complete with recordings and transcripts.
- Accountable Payments – Securely send and receive payments for shared parenting expenses while keeping all transactions recorded.
- Secure Messaging – Send and receive timestamped messages so you can prove when they were sent or read by your co-parent. Messages cannot be edited or deleted.
- Shared Calendar – Keep an organized schedule of important dates and custody schedules.
- Personal Journal – Keep notes about interactions and other important details that are not shared with your co-parent. This is a great place to take private notes to share with your attorney.
- Unalterable Records – Access electronically certified PDF or Printed Records of communications and coordination within any of the above features to use as evidence in court.
What not to do
Judges may reject evidence that lacks a logical foundation or allow the other parent’s attorney to object. Therefore, it is vital to demonstrate the relevance of the evidence you provide while minimizing any gaps in your information. Review your evidence and ensure that each piece contributes to the holistic explanation of your case.
Additionally, a judge will not consider illegally obtained evidence. Recording someone without their knowledge is illegal in most states and cannot be presented in court, just as breaking into someone’s home to get information is against the law.
How to prepare
The discovery process is when each parent collects the information needed to build their case. Discovery allows everyone to have the correct documents and the same amount of evidence for the judge to access. Both parents can request records, including conversations and other physical evidence.
Prepare a comprehensive list of all the evidence you will present in court. Make copies of each item you want the judge to consider so that everyone involved can view it. Confirm that the records you wish to present are certified and admissible in court. Our Unalterable Records are admissible in courtrooms across the country. Learn more about our features and how they can help.