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I have a two-day Trial to finalize divorce. The primary issue is custody. I received the Exhibit list and it notes that video

Los Angeles, CA |

recordings will be included from opposing Counsel. This will consist of video recordings made from exchanges at mother's home of our son. Would they be allowed to present that at Trial, is it allowed? Her attorney mentioned that it would be impeachable and will not show me these, what has been your experiance and could I get these tossed out?

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Attorney answers 3


I guess your ex is going to try to show the warm and loving greeting he receives when he goes to pick up the kids. It seems a little strange and in how much content there will actually be in a 30 or 60 second shot. I guess the first issue would be who held the camera and would they be around to lay a foundation that they were the ones who took the pictures and these pictures accurately reflect what the events that occurred at that date at that location. On the flip side, you could bring in your own videos and request the court review the same. The key factor is usually who has been the primary caretaker of the children over the years. Unfortunately, the rules in family law tend to be a lot more relaxed then other civil court matters. In non-family law trials, the judges really make you cross all the "t"'s and dot all the "i"'s. Another important issue in regard to the children is where do they presently go to school and how are they doing in school and where is it convenient for them to live so they can maintain their regular extra-curricular activities? If I was the judge, I wouldn't allow your ex's video in based on the limited information I have, but it certainly is a possibility.

I hope this is helpful.

John N. Kitta
(510) 797-7990


I would make a formal discovery request for a copy of each full video. You have a right to review evidence before trial. It is true that family law trials are more relaxed on the rules. You should have an idea what is on the tapes. If you really want to keep them out - consult an attorney for help. This is not a do it yourself situation.


Without knowing ALL the factual disputes in your custody case, AND what the videos show, it's impossible to say whether they're admissible, and whether or not they're LIKELY to be admitted. Unless yuo have a REALLY good working knowledge of courtroom evidence, NOW's the time to hire an experienced family law trial attorney who does.

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