In all family law cases, one of the most important jobs that a lawyer does with a client is make an assessment of the evidence. The stronger the evidence in one party’s favor, the more likely that the outcome is going to go the way that the client wants.
Evidence can be in different forms. Evidence can be through testimony of witnesses like the parties who come to court and present their version of the facts. Or it can come in the form of documentation. Those are records, those are reports.
It’s important to understand that it is not the volume of evidence. It’s the quality of the evidence that the law will take into consideration in making rulings in the family court. Let me give you a couple of examples.
If there are a lot of police reports in a case … Let’s say that there’s children and that there’s a history of domestic violence or domestic abuse. It’s important for the lawyer to have a real good understanding of what has gone on in the in the past with domestic abuse, and to acquire those police reports so that the client and the lawyer can determine what witnesses need to be called, are there any photographs, are there any other witnesses to the domestic abuse?
That same principle would hold true where a parent has a history of alcoholism, and the parent may have gone to rehab a couple of times, and may have gone to the criminal court for DUIs. All those kinds of events by a parent would affect prior activities by that parent, misconduct by the parent. The stronger the evidence in presenting your case, the greater likelihood that there can be success later on. Assessing the evidence is a very important role for an attorney and the client.
If someone doesn’t have an attorney, either party, but particularly where one party doesn’t have a lawyer and doesn’t know what the role is of the rules of evidence, how to admit records into evidence, what is going to be acceptable evidence, such as what is hearsay and what isn’t hearsay, obviously the person that doesn’t have a lawyer is going to be at a disadvantage.
Having a very good background in knowing what evidence gets admitted and how it gets admitted, and what are the foundations that need to be laid in order to get evidence before a court is critical to you in your ability to present a favorable case.