In this video, special counsel Craig Turvey talks about gathering evidence in your family law matter.
My name is Craig Turvey and I'm a special counsel in the Cooper Grace Ward Family Law work team.
Gathering evidence for your family law matter
Today, I'd like to talk to you about gathering evidence in your family law matter. One of the big problems, particularly for interim hearings in family law matters, is that the only evidence the judge has is what's in the form of written affidavits, which means that there's no opportunity to cross examine witnesses. So, judges because they're not privy to all of the evidence that might be available because it's only in that written, limited form. They can't usually make findings of fact or determinations where there are disputed versions of events.
Why is this a problem?
That can be a problem where people have a lot of different versions of events, particularly for parenting matters, and they're fighting about certain issues where it might matter whether one parent's right or one's not in terms of what the orders a judge might make for a parenting matter. And of course, it applies equally to property as well.
Notice to admit
What I would suggest and a very under-utilised tool is what's called a notice to admit. Now, a notice to admit is a written document. There's a specific form that you can use for it that you serve on the other party. They have 14 days to reply. You can put a series of questions to them, factual questions, and they have to either admit what you're saying is true or deny it. You can do the same in terms of documents. You can attach documents to the written notice, and they have to respond to say whether it's an authentic document or not. That can be really useful, particularly for these interim hearings where there's factual disputes. And often when a party's replying in terms of affidavit material, if they know that their case is a bit weak about something, they often won't directly respond to any allegations you've made in your written material. So, the written notice is a really useful tool to be able to force people to say, 'Yes, I accept that this is true,' or 'No it's not', and to deny it that way.
Get in touch with CGW
So, if you need any assistance in terms of evidence gathering or if you have any questions about how evidence might work in your family law matter, please don't hesitate to contact me or one of the other family lawyers at Cooper Grace Ward.
Cooper Grace Ward is a leading Australian law firm based in Brisbane.
This publication is for information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain advice that is specific to your circumstances and not rely on this publication as legal advice. If there are any issues you would like us to advise you on arising from this publication, please contact Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.