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Don’t Go to Court Without Evidence – EVER

My Attorney Told Me to Bring Evidence to Court – What Exactly Does That Mean?

Dear Susan:

My attorney just told me that my divorce hearing is in a month.  My soon to be ex-husband has been stalking me and has also made some frightening threats to me.  My divorce attorney told me to bring my evidence to court.  I asked him what he meant by that and he said to bring anything to prove my point.  I am so confused and now I feel like I may lose everything in my divorce.  I know you are a private investigator to so I thought maybe you would know what my attorney means.

Kate


Hi Kate:

You’ve come to the right place for an answer to your question.  As a private investigator, I know the laws of evidence and know that the last place you want to be is in front of a judge making a case without the supporting proof of your statement(s).  All evidence means is “proof”.  Judges make decisions based on proof.  They prefer not to rule in someone’s favor if there is not strong evidence that what they have been told is the truth.  For example, if your ex-husband sent you a threatening email or a text that he is not going to pay child support, you strengthen your case by bringing copies of those emails and texts.

Kate, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard judges ask a litigant for their supporting evidence whether it be an email or text, a note from the child’s doctor or teacher, copies of canceled checks to find that the person came to court without those documents.  Not only do they weaken their case by not brining the supporting proof of their statement, they also reduce their credibility in the eyes of the judge.  As the judge sees it, here is the litigant’s big moment to prove their point and they have nothing but their own testimony to the missing document.  That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?  Yet, it happens all the time.

Evidence is Particular to Each Case

I can’t speak to your particular case, so I don’t know what documents your attorney wants you to bring to court with you on the day of your hearing.  Please ask specifically what they want you to have with you on that day.  You have only one shot to provide any documentation that can clarify and strengthen your case.  This is it so make sure you are on task and have clear notes and copies of any evidence you plan to use.  Without it, you don’t have a case.

Always remember that going to court is about facts.   The judge only wants the fact and does not want to be mired with a lot of “he said she said.”   The more organized you are with documentation for any of your claims, the stronger the litigant you will be.  The stronger you are as a litigant the more likely you are to be satisfied after the hearing.

Wishing you good luck at your hearing.

Susan Shofer Divorce Consultant

Having Your Evidence Organized Will Help Your Appearance in Court

For help more help gathering and organizing your evidence, check out my guidebook Courts, Evidence & Social Media

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