What Evidence Do You Need in a Divorce?

Leveraging Evidence in Divorce Cases  

Divorce proceedings, whether amicable or contentious, require careful navigation and consideration. Central to these proceedings is the role of evidence, a crucial element that can significantly impact the outcome of a divorce case. This article explores the types of evidence used in divorce cases, how to gather and preserve this evidence, and the potential consequences of presenting false evidence. 

The Role of Evidence in Divorce Cases 

Evidence serves as the backbone of any legal contention; it substantiates claims and provides concrete proof to support arguments. In divorce cases, evidence can help establish grounds for divorce, determine child custody arrangements, and allocate marital assets, among other things. 

Many people mistakenly believe that evidence is more important in cases that involve litigation than those involving negotiations. However, you need evidence in both cases.  

In litigation, a judge makes the final decision based on the evidence presented in court. Negotiations, on the other hand, involve both parties working together to reach an agreement, often using evidence to inform their discussions. 

Essential Types of Evidence 

Here is the type of evidence you should consider collecting in a divorce case:  

  • Financial records. These are pivotal in determining spousal support and dividing marital property. Bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and credit card bills can paint a comprehensive picture of a couple's financial situation. 

  • Social media content. Posts, messages, photos, and even 'likes' can be used as evidence. They can reveal information about a spouse's behavior, spending habits, or lifestyle that may influence decisions about child custody or asset division. 

  • Witness testimony. Friends, family members, or professional associates can provide testimonies that support claims about a spouse's character or behavior. 

  • Emails and text messages. These can serve as evidence of infidelity, financial misconduct, or abusive behavior, significantly influencing the case's outcome. 

  • Photos and videos. Visual evidence can be potent, especially in cases involving domestic violence or child neglect. 

Gathering & Preserving Evidence 

It's essential to start gathering evidence as soon as you contemplate divorce. Save any relevant documents and information that you believe could help your case.  

However, it is important to remember that evidence must be obtained legally; illicit methods can lead to penalties and may render the evidence inadmissible. Thus, you should avoid trying to collect evidence using spyware or illegally recording conversations.  

If you are having trouble obtaining certain evidence, an attorney can help. During the discovery process, they can subpoena records and work to obtain information.  

Presenting Evidence in Court or Mediation 

In court, evidence must be presented following specific rules of evidence, and it's often best handled by a legal professional. During mediation, however, the rules are less formal, and evidence is typically used to inform discussions rather than to 'win' a case. 

Consequences of Presenting False Evidence 

Utilizing falsified evidence or making false claims in divorce proceedings is not only ethically wrong, but it also carries substantial legal repercussions. The act of perjury, or lying under oath, could lead to significant financial penalties and even imprisonment.  

Moreover, such actions could result in the loss of child custody rights, a consequence that far outweighs any perceived advantage. The fallout from dishonesty can also extend beyond the courtroom, affecting your relationships and leading to societal isolation. 

Tenacious Divorce Counsel  

At Conner & Roberts, PLLC, we understand the emotional distress associated with divorce proceedings. Our approach is rooted in compassion and understanding, and we prioritize clear and effective communication on behalf of our clients, ensuring their needs and objectives are accurately represented. 

Our attorneys provide more than just advice; they offer a steady hand of support, delivering honest and pragmatic guidance aimed at securing the most favorable outcomes possible. 

Contact us online or via phone at] (423) 299-4489 to schedule a case consultation.  

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