Part 2 on…
THE GOLDEN RULES OF LITIGATION
2. KEEP ACCURATE RECORDS
You’re going to have to “evidence” your life from here on out. Everything you do with or for or about your kids must be recorded/documented. Every interaction you have with your ex both bad and good must be recorded/documented as it happens and date-stamped as soon as possible after the event or interaction. And that means most importantly, KEEP A JOURNAL!
The prima facie reliability of contemporaneous documents.
Especially in the Family Court, judges consider that documents brought into existence close in time to the events they record will often be more reliable sources than the recollections of witnesses related orally in court months or years later.
That means, your journal entry created the same day or the next day, is more reliable and therefore truer than anything a witness says from memory, especially as is normally the case, months or years later.
In McKenzie Friends Club’s MyCase case management system, there is a journalling function that creates time and date stamped file notes or journal entries that are acceptable as evidence.
Often in trials, a chronological bundle of documents (like your journal entries supplemented with images and possibly video) will provide a sound and relatively uncontroversial structure for the evidence, and the documents will often afford important and significant bases for finding facts where there is controversy.
So if you have documented every interaction with your ex, every time she has stopped the kids from seeing you and every time you followed through with access, it all becomes truer than anything she can say on the stand or in an affidavit to the contrary.
So your journal entry or MyCase file note IS evidence of what occurred and will be believed more than somebody remembering from the stand. MyCase file notes are relevant evidence for the judge’s assessment of the probability of the existence of a fact in issue and as such become your second witness when attached to your affidavit adding weight and credibility to your testimony.
In the Family Court, with its feminist jurisprudence, the average guy starting out has a 75% chance of losing. You have to prove every fact that you say and documents created (brought into existence) close to the time of the event are credible, reliable proof.
Your My Case Journal is the Backbone of Your Case! If done properly and consistently, your My Case journal becomes the heart and soul of your case, especially your parenting case.
During the trial, your My Case journal will be a valuable source of events, dates, and patterns of behaviour. Most importantly, your My Case journal will discredit fabricated testimony and lies you can expect from the other side. Your My Case journal should also contain surprises to keep the other side off balance.
With details at hand, you can deliberate on these entries for accurate summing up.
During the trial, you will be able to present answers during questioning (especially cross examination) which are confident and specific. Your former partner on the other hand, will probably turn to, “I don’t remember” type remarks when questioned about awkward areas, which makes her a less credible witness.
So, keep accurate records. AND keep a journal in a format that will be acceptable in court as evidence.
Pen and paper done incorrectly, and it’s easy for your ex’s lawyer to object to it being accepted. MS Word file suffers from similar “credibility” issues and can be knocked out.
MyCase journal file notes are individually time and date stamped that can’t be tampered with by you, so your ex’s lawyer is stuck trying to object to it. They can’t use the old stand-by of, “you just wrote this all up yesterday, didn’t you?” to discredit you. MyCase is a “sound and relatively uncontroversial structure for the evidence”. So use it and win.
Stay tuned for the next installment…
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