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Old 07-30-2011, 02:03 PM
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Default Use of recordings as evidence

Judges usually don't allow recordings as evidence in family court; it would be evidence in something serious like a murder trial but family court doesn't go there.

Example: If you had a recording of a conversation with the children.

What you do is swear an affidavit that the children's wishes are (such and such). Attach to the affidavit a short summary of what the children said that is relevant to the case. EVIDENCE MUST ALWAYS BE RELEVANT. After the summary you attach a transcript of the conversation. The transcript may be typed by you, but with a sworn statement from the notary that it is an accurate transcript of the recorded conversation.

You end up with:
- your sworn affidavit
- which is backed up by the summary
- which is backed up by the notary transcript
- which is backed up by the recording.

The judge will often read as far as the summary, they will generally not read the entire transcript, if the material is not disputed by the other party.

You present the transcript as evidence as part of your full disclosure, so that the other party may examine it and decide whether to challenge it. They may challenge it by saying it is not relevant, that it is out of context, that it was coerced, etc. However it's unlikely that they will challenge it's authenticity since you have the notarized transcipt and the original recording. So the affidavit will be accepted as factual, but they still may argue it's relevance.

And just to add, few if any divorce lawyers will go to this amount of trouble unless the evidence hugely important. If you think something is important and relevant, get the transcript ready yourself and write it all up and present it to the lawyer ready to go. The lawyer may still recommend that it is irrelevant.

We all think certain things are important but in reality other people look at it objectively and realize it makes little difference.