Written by attorney Clifford J. Petroske

Gathering Evidence for a Divorce Case

You can use anything that’s admissible evidence in a divorce case. The question is what’s admissible and what’s the best kind of evidence to use in a divorce case. Well, let’s start with what’s best. The best evidence in any kind of divorce case is an admission by the other side, whether it’s a tax return signed by the spouse that says the income is X number of dollars. Well, that’s an admission – by signing the joint return – that the income actually is that number. Or it’s a statement made on an audio recording that yes, I took the children to Tijuana or whatever, despite what you said. Whatever it might be.

That type of admission is really very, very effective because not only does it make the case that you’re trying to make in court. But it can often show the other side to be lying; to be less than credible. And you can get a double whammy, if you will, from that type of evidence.

It comes into evidence because an admission by a party, the other party, is one of the known exceptions to the hearsay rule. Now obviously, you’re trying to get something in for the truth of the content of that statement. And if the person is saying it in that audio recording, or in that text message or in that email, well then that’s something that is hearsay. But because they said it as a party, it’s an exception to the rule and it comes right into evidence.

The only thing you have to worry about is authenticity. That’s the other thing the courts are worried about. Is it really what you say it is? Well if it’s a printed email, then you can show an email train for and you can demonstrate how the emails were actually said and when they were stated, etcetera, typically courts will allow that into evidence.

If it’s a recording in which you establish that you – it was true and accurate recording of the thing you actually heard and you played it back when you first recorded it, and it was in fact the exact thing that you just heard, and you go through that foundation testimony, well then you can get it into evidence as well.

There are some really great evidentiary tricks that are employed in divorce cases to have a great impact.

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