If you don’t understand a question, you should ask for it to be repeated. Therefore, keep in mind, that if you want time to think about your answer you should take a breath or a drink of water. And when I say straight talk, I mean no jokes or sarcasm in the courtroom. Keep in mind that while you talk, the lawyers and the judge will take notes. He’s claiming he is worried about my husband who I’m not with and don’t live with is a danger to him and our son for text message I guess my husband had been sending him. The writing must be ‘relevant’ to the issue in controversy and cannot be unduly prejudicial. All of these can be relevant to child custody, property division, date of separation or child/spousal support actions. Information that is simple, straight forward delivered in plain English so anyone can understand! If you can’t do this – the evidence comes in to play – whether you think it’s fair or not. Perhaps you have bank statements that prove you provided your spouse with financial assistance for a period of time s/he said they received no child or spousal support. How do you know they took it? So, for example, if a document is presented that was between you and your lawyer, you will want to object as ‘attorney/ client privileged.’ You may also object if a medical record between you and your doctor is improperly presented to the court. The reason behind that is that you are answering all the questions for the benefit of the judge and not the person who is asking you questions. State that it is an accurate picture of what it purports to show (e.g. If you didn’t, who did? Even when we are in front of a judge who has a more informal approach (allows evidence to be considered without meeting all of the legal criteria), general knowledge of the rules of … The only purpose of the hearing is for both parties to have the opportunity to put forward information for their case. Of course, you also have the choice of guessing what the question was. My aunt is planning to adopt a child to accompany her at home. The proceedings are less formal and calmer. Thank you for the tips on family law. While the social worker is addressing the decision-maker, the latter will often be taking notes. Giving Evidence in Court Once a witness has been sworn in they are ready to give evidence. This is known as evidence-in-chief. If the objection is legal – it becomes the propounding party’s job to find an evidence ‘exception’ or explain to the court why the objection is not proper. It is good that you reminded us that being interrogated in the witness box can be very scary or nerve-wracking. It is important to take time and speak clearly and slowly when giving evidence. Giving evidence in any court case is daunting even for the most seasoned and experienced witness. And there is no denying: being questioned in a witness box can be very nerve-wracking and scary. 3. Moreover, giving evidence is your one opportunity to have your say about your family case. This is possibly even more so in family law matters where the stakes are so high…the lives of your children and the financial security of your family are placed under the spotlight in family law cases. Identify the people in the photo Can he use that against me in court? If you think that you have already answered the question, don’t go on and on about the same topic, adding more than you should. Your email address will not be published. If you remember these tips while you give evidence you should give your best impression to the court. Concentrate on the issues that are in dispute and the weak areas of your case, as these are the areas that you are most likely to be … Well, many judges will review evidence (such as out of court statements, school records, agreements, police reports, financial records, title to property, proof of payment, social media postings, photographs etc) without a proper ‘foundation’ unless the opposing litigant or lawyer makes a objection. We’ve highlighted a few evidence rules that everyone should know before they walk into the courtroom (even when you’re self represented): 1. social media: If you would like to utilize a statement that was made via ‘instant chat’ (such as yahoo messenger, email or FB messenger) make sure you save and print the entire relevant chat room thread. I mean, the lives of your children, the financial security of your family and so many more important things are placed under the spotlight in family law cases. I was standing next to my sister when she took the photo). The Court needs to consider seriously … How do you know? Guidelines in relation to children giving evidence in family proceedings These guidelines on the issue of children giving evidence in family proceedings, have been produced by the Family Justice Council Working Party on Children Giving Evidence, chaired by the Rt. For example, the court may exclude evidence of your ex’s drug or alcohol use if the only ‘issue’ at hand is division of property but may find it is helpful to a decision as to who is better equipped to have physical custody of the children. But one important thing that you should keep in mind is that if you just get into the witness box and be honest with your answers, everything will be fine. Straight talk. Also familiarise yourself with the rest of the evidence before the court. And then questions fall on your head. This is some really good information about family law. When are Attorney Fees “Awarded” in a Divorce Action? 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