On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Monday August, 31, 2020.
With the country’s constantly-changing laws – combined with a swarm of misinformation – determining what information can be presented in legal matters can be a daunting task. Generally speaking, all presented evidence must be both legally obtained and pertaining to the issue being litigated.
Information That Can Be Used in a Family Law Courtroom
Admissible evidence and testimony include the following categories:
- “Writings”: Any legally-obtained document that is pertinent to the matter under litigation can be presented as evidence. Whether the document is text-based, imagery, or a combination of both is not relevant. The form of the writing – whether it be physical or electronic – is immaterial as long as the writing is complete.
- Witnesses: Any person with direct information or relevant expertise can provide testimony for either the plaintiff or the defendant. Witnesses are generally divided into three categories:
- Witness of Material Fact: A witness of material fact has observed or heard incidents that pertain to the legal proceedings.
- Expert Witness: An expert witness is an accomplished individual whose area of expertise overlaps with the issue being litigated.
- Character Witness: A character witness is someone who knows one of the litigants and is summoned to testify regarding the litigant’s moral code and behavior.
- Social Media: Any social media that can be printed in its entirety is considered admissible. We’ve previously discussed the implications of displays of indulgence or excessive displays of childrens’ development. It’s advisable to be wary of what to share online, as seemingly-innocuous posts can be detrimental in a court of law.
Information That Cannot Be Used in a Family Law Courtroom
Any evidence that can be proven as illegally-obtained or unrelated can be dismissed. These include:
- Illegally-obtained recordings: Wiretaps obtained without warrants, illegal recordings, and any media that can be considered an unauthorized breach of privacy are not valid evidence in family law.
- Irrelevant evidence: Any evidence that is not relevant to the matter under litigation can be excluded after a successful objection. Also, evidence that can be considered prejudicial can be blocked from the legal proceedings.
- Unauthenticated writings: Documents that cannot be validated are subject to exclusion.
- Testimony that a witness cannot corroborate: Remarks that are hearsay – unverified testimony about what a third party said – or demonstrate a lack of personal knowledge can be removed from the court record.
It’s important to know what evidence can be admitted and when to object to the opposing counsel’s evidence. Call the attorneys at Wickersham and Bowers today for a consultation!
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