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Nowadays, actually calling someone is a rarity, as the vast majority of communications are conducted by email or text.  What this means is that a written record of these communications exists, which in turn means that they will likely emerge later in family court.

It is important to remember that when things are said in person, and there are no third-party witnesses, they are easy to deny.  The “he said, she said” phenomenon is very common in family court, as is the propensity to commit perjury in this regard.  The reality is that most litigants in family court will deny having said things that may be detrimental to their case, knowing that it cannot be otherwise proven.   This is a sad but true circumstance in family court, where perjury is never prosecuted.

In light of the foregoing, canny litigants and their attorneys often seek to obtain documentary evidence, to memorialize what was really "discussed." These written communications can be your worst enemy or your best friend, oftentimes depending on if you are the sender or recipient of same.  If you were upset, intoxicated, used expletives, made threats, or otherwise acted in a less than respectable manner when you generated that "writing" (see Evidence Code §250), this may be used against you in family court.  While California is theoretically a “no-fault” divorce state, there are several areas in our Family Code where you can and likely will be faulted.  Think domestic violence restraining orders and child custody, in particular.

The takeaway here is to keep in mind that whatever you write or post, on whatever medium, will likely end up in family court if you are in a relationship that is headed south.  In fact, as you type it out, consider yourself to be writing to the judge.  At Antonyan Miranda, our trial attorneys are experts in the Evidence Code and other rules which govern written evidence.  We see this all the time, and know how to help you with it, regardless of what side of the communication you are on.  However, you should always start by helping yourself first, by thinking twice before you hit "send."

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Timothy Miranda