When you are involved in a battle over asset division, alimony, child custody, or other issues in a contested New York divorce case, evidence is critical. Statements, documents, and other information serves two purposes in a divorce matter:
- You need sufficient details to support your side of a disputed matter; and,
- You also want enough evidence to counter the positions of the other party.
Still, New York rules of evidence apply to a divorce case, just as they do to any other matter before the court. There are tactics you can legally use to collect evidence, and bring it before the court. Other acts to gather information may make the relevant facts inadmissible in court because they were not obtained through the proper legal channels. You can trust your Otsego County divorce lawyer to address the specifics about evidence in a divorce case, but there are some key points to keep in mind.
Why Collect Evidence in a New York Divorce Case
Though there are two general reasons to obtain information in divorce, the specifics depend on your unique circumstances. However, it is likely that you need evidence in connection with the primary issues in a divorce case:
- Asset Division: In a contested divorce case, a judge will make a decision on how to distribute marital property between the parties. Evidence on assets is essential to a fair, equitable result.
- Alimony: When a party seeks spousal support, evidence is central to a determination on appropriateness and amount.
- Issues Related to Minor Children: The child’s best interests are paramount in custody and visitation, and the non-custodial parent must pay child support. Evidence is necessary for all of these considerations.
Evidence You CAN Collect
In general, you can access any information regarding assets, income, and debts that is within your possession.
- Text, email, and other electronic communications that you received or sent;
- Your own phone records, if presented to prove the existence and duration of an incoming or outgoing call;
- Your financial records; and,
- Related materials that you control, own, or possess.
Evidence That May Be Inadmissible
The rules of evidence are highly complex, but some examples of information that may be tossed out of court include:
- Pictures or video that you cannot authenticate;
- Financial records that are not in your name;
- Any documents you misappropriated or obtained through dishonesty;
- Wiretapped conversations; and,
- Any other details that should be excluded because they were obtained contrary to the rules of evidence.
Consult with a Knowledgeable New York Divorce Lawyer About Collecting Evidence
You put your rights at risk by not accessing evidence through proper procedures, since unlawfully obtained information may not be allowed in court. There are tactics you can employ to collect evidence, thereby ensuring admissibility. However, the rules regarding discovery, subpoenas, and other legal methods can be complicated if you do not have a legal background. At the Colwell Law Group, LLC, our divorce attorneys are skilled at various strategies aimed at uncovering the evidence necessary to protect your interests. Please call our office at 518-864-0564 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today