Vero Beach, FL asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for New York

Q: What would be good evidence / exhibits to use in a child support trial?

Filed a petition for an upward modification of child support. Respondent tried to have the petition dismissed and was denied. Magistrate says child support order is eligible for upward modification. Even though my petition has been granted, still having a trial and need to provide evidence and exhibits

2 Lawyer Answers

A: Tax returns, W-2s, paycheck stubs, 1099s if applicable.

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in New York

A: The answer here is not as simple as providing a listing of good-to-have documents. We here do not know the nature of either party's employment (self or otherwise) and therefore have no idea what documents are necessary to prove a child support case for this asker.

What we can say definitively is that not all documents are admissible as evidence. "Evidence" law is a strict limitation on what a court can view and make part of its ultimate decision in a case. A photocopy of a document is a classic example of an inadmissible document. A medical record without a certification is another example. A copy of a W-2 can be inadmissible. Also, there is an art to "laying a foundation" for a document's admissibility.

If something is inadmissible, then the court may not consider it. This is why many lawyers here advise clients to retain counsel who are trained and versed in what is admissible or is not admissible. Failing to prove a child support for lack of evidence will result in a denial of the petition and a continuation of the old order.

Also, the time to retain an attorney is at the commencement of a case, not at the end at trial. If the aim is to obtain the opponent's documents, then a lawyer needs ample time to move for a subpoena, get it signed by the magistrate, serve it, and await production. None of this can be done on the eve of trial (called a "hearing" in family court).

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