By Daniel L. Lambert
In some states, a Pretrial Report for Child Custody Trial is required by the judge prior to beginning a child custody battle.
What is required in this report? Do you need to provide to each party all documents, evidence, emails, voice messages, or any other key evidentiary documents at the time of the report being due?
The answer to what and when you have to produce evidence will depend on your local rules, the pretrial order, and your state’s child custody laws.
Generally speaking what has to be produced to the opposing party prior to trial and when it needs to be disclosed along with a list of witnesses is a matter that is addressed in a pretrial conference with the Judge or Court Commissioner. You should first check your pretrial order to determine what schedule was put into place.
For video, recordings, and other documents, there is a requirement that they be authenticated. This generally requires that the person making the recording or who compiled the document appear at trial to verify the authenticity.
Certain documents do not require authentication and others can be avoided if you provide the requisite notice to the opposing party pursuant to the custody statutes. There are additional hearsay rules that apply that you will need to consult with a local mens divorce attorney.
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Failure to timely disclose your witnesses, properly authenticate your evidence, or meet the court’s disclosure deadlines can lead to your evidence being excluded from trial.
I recommend that you first check your pretrial order to verify these dates and requirements. You can contact the court’s clerk, who will sometimes advise you what the judge is requiring in your particular trial.
Consulting with a divorce lawyer for men would also be of great benefit to ensure that the deadlines and requirements are met.