Admissible evidence in family court is defined as evidence that is allowed to be brought before a judge during proceedings. When it comes to admissible evidence, the law is clear; the first party (the plaintiff) can bring in any evidence that they have. The opposing party, however, can bring up to three pieces of evidence.
One of the most common examples of admissible evidence is a series of photographs featuring injuries to the person filing a claim. Other forms include texts or emails sent by someone involved with the case and items which were used during an incident. Without admissible evidence it would be difficult for a judge to make a decision on what action should be taken, because there is not enough facts surrounding them. It would also make it harder for both parties because it would not allow either side to present their own side without circumstantial evidence being brought into play as well. What is admissible evidence in family court ? There are four possible types of evidence in family court:
(a) Evidence which is excluded by the law
This is anything that is not admissible in family court. For example, an expert witness cannot often be used because this could influence the judge. Had a piece of evidence been allowed in court, it might have influenced the judge one way or another and would not be legal for it to occur.
(b) Evidence which is simply excluded by court rule
When it comes to family law courts, there are some rules which do not allow certain non-relevant pieces of evidence to take place, such as offering a discount on one’s car insurance in return for having someone drop their divorce case or making promises to pay off a mortgage in order to get the other party out of their home.
(c) Evidence which is legally admissible but is excluded by common sense or fairness
This type of evidence would be allowed in family law court, but it would often count as hearsay and so therefore would not be allowed. For example, if one party was to offer evidence that they had committed adultery within the previous six months this would legally be admissible and could be used in court. However, most judges will not allow it because it is unfair to try and bring up past infidelity which has no relevance to the current case.
(d) Evidence which is legally admissible and also relevant to the case.
This could be considered as something that is admissible evidence. For example; a piece of clothing that was used to inflict injury on someone during a domestic violence incident would be legal because it is relevant to the case. The piece of clothing, however, will not always be taken into account by judges and so must be explained fully in the paperwork before going ahead with proceedings. This means that if a judge refuses to allow evidence into court, there can often be a good reason for it.
Benefits of admissible evidence in family court
1. It can be used to help inform a judge about why one party is acting in a certain manner.
This is often when domestic violence, infidelity or accusations of drug abuse are brought into the light. There can be a lot of conjecture surrounding these subjects and so by using this type of evidence it is often easier for judges to understand what happened and how they were impacted by it.
2. It can help to show how someone is behaving in their daily life, which can prove beneficial when determining who the more appropriate parent would be in many cases.
For example; if one party has shown signs that they have had drug problems within the last six months then this may indicate that they are not the most suitable parent for their children.
3. It allows the parties to offer up their side of the story without having to be verbally attacked by a judge or opposing party.
Judges often state that they want both parties to be calm and collected during proceedings, but it is rare that they are able to get this type of response out of them. Allowing these types of evidence can help each party present their side in a way that is both fair and accurate.
4. It is a way for the parties to present their case without having to read a six-thousand word letter.
Sometimes during family law court proceedings it can be hard for both parties to read from the same piece of paper. By having all the evidence in front of them they can have a better understanding on what their own behaviour was and why they are doing what they are doing.
5. It is often useful if one [or both parties] has no memory of what happened and so can fill in the gaps with details that are provided by others involved.
Whether it is a case of domestic violence or infidelity, there may be a lack of memory when it comes to the exact detail. By having evidence to hand about what happened and how it happened, this can help a judge work out an outcome that suits everyone involved.
6. It allows evidence from others to be presented in writing if one party does not want to attend court hearings in person.
If someone is sending paperwork and photos through the post then they do not have to put themselves on public display in order to do so. This means that both parties are able to send over information which could be admissible evidence without having the stress of being present in court at this time.
7. It can be used as evidence to show that a judge needs to pass a verdict which is in the interests of one or both parties, rather than being influenced by outside factors.
There is often the suggestion that judges are not in the right frame of mind, or have been put under unfair pressure when deliberating on their verdict. By using this type of evidence this can help to prove that they have considered all the facts and are making an unbiased decision.