Articles Tagged with evidence

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Discovery is the next step of a family law case prior to a hearing. Discovery is the process of asking for and providing evidence between parties prior to a hearing. Discovery looks for all relevant evidence that isn’t privileged, but those words don’t necessarily mean the same thing in the law that they do in regular life.

The Family Law Process – Part 7: Discovery (Rules 26-37)

Sometimes in a family law case, all efforts to negotiate or mediate fail and a hearing is necessary. In order to make your case to the judge, you will need proof of your claims. But what is your recourse if the other party has all of the information? How can you prove that your spouse makes more than you, for instance, without access to their paystubs or bank statements? Or the value of their car if you don’t know how much is still owed on it? Luckily, the court provides a way to get that information: Discovery.

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Clark v. Clark and Barrett, 2021-NCCOA-653 (2021)

  • Facts: The Clarks were a married couple in North Carolina. In 2016, Husband began an affair with Ms. Barrett, in Virginia. That same year while home in North Carolina, Wife discovered text messages between Husband and Barrett. Husband finally left the marital home after Wife threatened to call Barrett and ask about the affair. Husband’s intimate relationship with Barrett went as far as conceiving a child with Barrett via in vitro fertilization. Things became contentious. In March of 2018, Wife began to interact with Husband on a social network named Kik, wherein Husband was using an alias. Husband, using the alias, sent a message to Wife containing a topless photo of Wife, and saying that this photo was being circulated in internet chat rooms. In May, Wife discovered the same photo on a Facebook “weight loss” advertisement, but with the nipples censored. Wife sued Husband for violating the revenge porn statute, NCGS 14-190.5A. Husband was found to have violated the statute. He appealed.

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As family law attorneys, we are regularly asked by clients if they can record their spouse. In fact, in some cases, they are asking if we want a copy of the recording that they have already made. Yes, these recordings can possibly prove something was said or not said; there is the ability to corroborate as well. But admissibility of recordings is complex and a wholly separate area of law. Today, we discuss whether certain recordings are even legal and, depending on the answer to that question, whether your attorney can even listen to or view the recording. Continue reading →

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Texts and emails relevant to your case can and should be exhibits. Often times, they prove or disprove that certain conversations were had. In the family law context, they often show certain things like discussion of finances, custody, verbal abuse, or even the overall character of a spouse. But there are barriers to cross before the texts can be admitted as evidence. Continue reading →

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Crews v. Paysour, 261 N.C. App. 557 (2018)

  • Facts: Plaintiff and Defendants are the parents of a minor child. In 2012, Plaintiff filed an action for custody and child support. A temporary order for child support was entered in August of 2012. The parties were both in medical school at that time. Once they graduated and completed residency, their incomes increased. In 2014, Defendant filed notice for a permanent custody and child support hearing. In September 2014, the trial court heard evidence towards child support. No written order came from that hearing. In December 2014, a “rendition of judgment” was issued to the parties in a letter. In October 2015, the parties scheduled a conference to go over proposed orders and objections. In December 2015, the trial court finally entered an order for Plaintiff to pay child support prospectively and $23,529.00 in arrears for the period from December 2014 through October 2015. In a previous appeal, the Court remanded, based on a misapprehension of law, and allowed the trial court to consider more evidence. On remand, the trial court did not consider new evidence but accepted the Defendant’s arguments made in his appeal. Plaintiff appealed.

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NC Court of Appeals (No. COA20-545)

 

Grace DiPrima (“Plaintiff”) and Clifton Benjamin Vann, V (“Defendant”) were the best of friends.  Their friendship began in the third grade, and the two stayed friends throughout grade school and beyond.  Plaintiff and Defendant attended The Fletcher School (“Fletcher”), an educational institution for children with learning differences.  Plaintiff and Defendant would contact each other through various means, including text messages, Instagram, phone conversations, etc.  However, by 2018, Plaintiff disclosed to her parents that the relationship had become more volatile.  Plaintiff stated that some of Defendant’s recent actions made her feel uncomfortable.  Between July 2018 and November 2018, Plaintiff and Defendant exchanged messages concerning suicide.  Continue reading →

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With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more and more families together for extended periods and creating increases in stress in the family setting, it is no surprise that there has been a rise in domestic violence and tension between partners. Continue reading →